Nottingham Forest midfielder Jesse Lingard is being linked with a shock move to Turkey, which could see his Premier League career come to an end.
The 30-year-old joined the Tricky Trees on a free transfer last summer but has only featured infrequently for Steve Cooper’s side this season.
Fenerbache and Besiktas are both reportedly interested in a move, ahead of the Turkish transfer window closing on Wednesday.
Indeed, when Forest signed Lingard, the City Ground faithful would have hoped for a rejuvenated player, looking to prove his quality once again after being axed by United.
Memorably, the Englishman enjoyed a successful loan spell at West Ham United two seasons ago, when he scored nine goals in 16 games.
However, he has so far failed to replicate that form for Forest and as a result, has gradually fallen down Cooper’s pecking order.
This season, Lingard has scored just two goals in 17 appearances across all competitions, netting against Tottenham and Blackburn Rovers in the League Cup.
Now, according to TEAMtalk, Lingard has emerged as a target for Turkish giants Fenerbache and Besiktas, as the two clubs battle to get back into the title race.
Both clubs are looking to add to their midfield options before the closure of the window, so they are prepared to test Forest’s resolve to hold onto Lingard.
Fenerbahce are currently second in the Turkish Super Lig table, six points above Besiktas, who are in fourth.
Interestingly, if Lingard chooses Besiktas, he would join former Tottenham and Everton attacking midfielder Dele Alli and provide competition for his spot in the starting XI.
On the other hand, Lingard would have Europa League football on offer by joining Fenerbahce.
There are some other former Premier League players in their squad too, such as former Bournemouth striker Josh King, ex-Leeds player Ezgjan Alioski and former Chelsea man Michy Batshuayi.
The England international only signed a one-year deal with Forest when he arrived last summer and reportedly, Forest were willing to let their Lingard leave as early as November.
Lingard is also the club’s top earner, allegedly earning a big wage of £80,000 per week.
Forest have done a ridiculous amount of business this season, bringing in a record-breaking 30 signings, so they already have cover if Lingard does opt to head to Turkey.
For instance, the likes of Morgan Gibbs-White and Remo Freuler are capable of playing in Lingard’s favoured attacking midfield position, while Brennan Johnson, who has been at the club since 2019, can also do a job there.
Forest have recently enjoyed an upturn of form and are undefeated in their last five league games, but they could still be dragged back into a relegation fight.
With that in mind, Cooper will have to think very carefully before allowing Lingard to leave.
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