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Sheffield United reportedly face competition for Jesse Lingard, including Aston Villa and Celtic

Sheffield United face competition for January transfer target Jesse Lingard, according to The Sun.

Blades manager Chris Wilder is keen to bring Lingard to Bramall Lane on loan in the new year.

Initial talks have taken place with Manchester United about the prospect of signing the 28-year-old. The South Yorkshire club are apparently even prepared to cover Lingard’s £100,000-a-week wages in order to land him.

Wilder also spoke to Man United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer about the midfielder during Thursday’s 3-2 Premier League defeat.

Yet the Blades aren’t the only side interested in signing Lingard. Elsewhere in the English top flight, Aston Villa and West Bromwich Albion are also thought to be keen on the England international.

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Meanwhile in Scotland, Premiership leaders Rangers and champions Celtic are keeping tabs on Lingard as well.

Why Sheffield United want Jesse Lingard

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Wilder has admitted that no permanent signings will be made during the January transfer window.

Instead, two loanees are being targeted. A left-sided central defender is the priority for Wilder.

That’s because Jack O’Connell is currently sidelined for the rest of the season after having knee surgery.

Without O’Connell, Wilder has already tried five different players this term in his position in the back three.

The other role the 53-year-old would like to fill is a creative midfielder.

This is where Lingard comes in, having fallen out of favour under Solskjaer at Old Trafford.

He has the ability to play anywhere in attacking midfield, either as a number ten or as a winger.

Lingard could easily fit into Wilder’s current three-man system in the middle.

Which could be especially important, with Sander Berge set to miss three months after suffering a “freak” injury during the loss to the Red Devils.

However, acquiring Lingard has been complicated by the news that others are also vying for his signature.

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