Manchester United midfielder Jesse Lingard is in self-isolation after coming into contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer confirmed on Monday.
Solskjaer was speaking to reporters ahead of Tuesday night’s Champions League tie with Istanbul Basaksehir at Old Trafford. United lost the reverse fixture in Turkey but have responded with wins over Everton and West Brom, and know that another win on Tuesday will stand them in good stead to qualify for the last 16.
Lingard has appeared in a Premier League squad just twice this season, with both of his competitive appearances coming in the Carabao Cup. He has been left out altogether of all three of their Champions League ties, and was not expected to be involved on Tuesday. Paul Pogba is their only midfield injury doubt.
Solskjaer, however, confirmed that the decision is out of his hands anyway, as the 27-year-old is currently in isolation.
“We hope Pogba is going to be available. We will see when we report tomorrow,” he said when asked for team news. “Luke Shaw and Phil Jones are out. Lingard is self-isolating after contact with a positive case.”
Since Solskjaer did not confirm when the incident took place, it is unclear how long Lingard must self-isolate for. He may be available for Sunday’s trip to Southampton, but with even Donny van de Beek struggling for minutes at present, he may not have travelled anyway.
Lingard has made more than 200 appearances for United, but after initially earning Solskjaer’s faith, he has fallen rapidly out of favour. His form has contributed to that; last season, he made 40 appearances in all competitions, but returned just four goals and two assists.
The arrival of Bruno Fernandes has seen him largely banished from the squad, and needs a productive rest of the season if he is to revive any residual hopes of a place in the England squad for Euro 2020.
He has 24 caps for his country but hasn’t been named in a squad since last summer’s Nations League.