Ex-Man Utd star Ferdinand questions Van de Beek contract negotiations & urges Lingard to seek transfer

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Donny van de Beek Manchester United 2020-21
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A Red Devils legend has been left surprised by a £35 million ($47m) signing's lack of playing time in the first half of the season

Rio Ferdinand has questioned the nature of Donny van de Beek's contract negotiations before joining Manchester United, while urging Jesse Lingard to seek a transfer this month.

United reportedly saw off competition from La Liga champions Real Madrid to prise Van de Beek away from Ajax in the summer.

The Netherlands international arrived at Old Trafford boasting a sterling reputation as one of Europe's most exciting young midfielders, but supporters have only been treated to glimpses of his talent over the last few months.

Van de Beek has appeared in 21 games across all competitions for the Red Devils this season, but most of those outings have come from the bench, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer only starting the 23-year-old in two Premier League matches to date.

The former Ajax star was given a rare 90 minutes as United beat Watford in the third round of the FA Cup, and could be in line to retain his place when Solskjaer's side take in a trip to Burnley in the top flight on Tuesday.

However, Ferdinand still cannot get his head around why Van de Beek has seen so little action since moving to Manchester, as he feels a guarantee of regular minutes should have been arranged as part of the deal which saw him join the Red Devils.

“I’m really surprised he’s not played more minutes," The United legend told BT Sport prior to Saturday's clash with Watford. "I’m 100% certain that he expected to play more.

"The interesting point with the whole van de Beek situation is, what was the conversation in negotiations coming here?

"When you negotiate a contract to go somewhere, you come into the football club knowing where you are, if you’re going to start, or are they going to have to work their way into the team.

"That’s the important part and we don’t know the answer yet. I’m sure from the soundings that his agent has been given off, he expected to be playing games and be a major part of this team.

"It hasn’t materialised so far, and he’s got a Euros to worry about if that goes ahead."

Ferdinand also weighed in on the speculation surrounding Lingard's future, with his run-out against Watford marking just his third appearance of the 2020-21 campaign.

Jesse Lingard, Man Utd

The former United defender thinks the England international should move on to reignite his career, as he added: "If I’m in his shoes, I’m, one, asking the manager what’s going on, and, two, if I’m not part of your plans, I’ve got to go.

"He’s 28 years old, so he’s not part of the plans, that’s been proven by how many times he’s been selected.

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"He’s 28 - he’s not a kid anymore - he wants to go and play football, surely.

"Sometimes you have to put the badge down because it means so much to local lads especially, but when you come to Manchester United, it’s a hard badge to put to the side and say you want to go somewhere else.

"For the sake of your career, to play games, that’s the number one thing. He’s not doing that, he can’t be happy."

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