Chelsea now ahead of Arsenal in race for Man United star

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His side may well be taking the Premier League by storm, but it looks as though Antonio Conte is already thinking about next campaign, with fresh reports suggesting the Italian boss is keen on bringing Manchester United midfielder Jesse Lingard to his ranks at Chelsea.

Our traders have even made the Stamford Bridge outfit new favourites for Lingard’s signature at 6/4, ahead of Chelsea’s London rivals Arsenal at 5/2 – who were previously the frontrunners in this market.

The 24-year-old has been in fine form for the Red Devils this season, featuring in 14 top-flight games this season while scoring in yet another cup final for his boyhood club.

It’s likely he’d become more of a bit-part player at Stamford Bridge, but there’s no questioning his reliability.

Having been brought up through United’s youth ranks, Lingard has forced his way into the club’s first-team over the last two years.

That was largely down to former boss Louis van Gaal, and despite many expecting the England international to move on after Jose Mourinho took over last summer, the Special One has since used Lingard as often as £42.5m man Anthony Martial.

Perhaps the reason Chelsea have emerged as favourites is because United could be preparing to use Lingard as a potential bargaining tool in order to secure the services of Willian.

Mourinho has long been an admirer of the Brazilian, who was one of his most influential players on the Portuguese boss’ return to Stamford Bridge.

And reports earlier on in the season have suggested that Jo-Mo will try to reunite with the forward at Old Trafford when the season draws to a close.

Meanwhile, the Gunners certainly aren’t lacking in attacking talent right now, boasting the likes of Alex Iwobi, Danny Welbeck, Lucas Perez, Theo Walcott, Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez.

But with the latter two on that list considering an Emirates exit this summer, Arsene Wenger (or his replacement) will be looking for replacements.

Elsewhere, Liverpool and Everton are behind the London duo in the running at 6/1 and 8/1 respectively, although the Toffees do have a history of nicking United stars.

However, it looks like it’ll be between these four clubs, were Lingard to move on, as Southampton are next in the market and are someway off at 10/1, with West Ham (12/1), Tottenham Hotspur (12/1) and Real Madrid (16/1) all considered outsiders.

What do fans think? Where would you want to see Jesse Lingard plying his trade next year?

Let us know in the comments section below!

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing

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Alex Apati

Having graduated from Birmingham City University with a degree in Creative Writing with English, Alex joined the News team following a three year stint working for Ladbrokes behind the counter. When he's not watching darts, he's throwing them. Failing that you'll find him YouTubeing Thierry Henry's greatest Arsenal goals.