Newcastle want to make Jesse Lingard their highest earner in January swoop

Newcastle United are reportedly eyeing up a move for Jesse Lingard in January and are prepared to make the 28-year-old the club's highest earner.

Lingard has six months left on his contract at Manchester United and is expected to leave the club permanently for the first time when the transfer window opens in just a few weeks.

The England international is unhappy about his lack of game time at Old Trafford, particularly after being assured of more minutes by former United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer last summer following a successful loan spell with West Ham United.

The arrivals of Cristiano Ronaldo and Jadon Sancho have pushed Lingard down the pecking order and the winger has now decided his future lies elsewhere.

According to The Times, Newcastle have made Lingard their number one target and would be prepared to offer a "substantial transfer fee", which would likely appeal to United given that they could lose him free in June.

They also want to make him their highest-paid player, which is currently Miguel Almiron who earns £100,000-a-week.

The Magpies, who are winless at the foot of the Premier League, will be competing with the likes of West Ham, Tottenham Hotspur and Everton for Lingard's signature, but could have the edge due to their newfound riches.

The club's new Saudi owners will be in the market for a host of new players next month in an attempt to stave off relegation.

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"Processes are happening above me to prepare for January," Newcastle boss Eddie Howe revealed.

"My immediate focus with the number of games we have is the team and the players we have and trying to maximise their ability.

"Everyone is doing their jobs behind the scenes but I’m focusing on the team at this current time."

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