Manchester United could be about to lose one of their most exciting young players to direct rivals Chelsea for nothing this summer.
As reported by the Mirror, Angel Gomes’ contract expires at the end of the month and Frank Lampard believes the 19-year-old could be heading to Stamford Bridge on a free transfer.
Chelsea are building a core of talented British stars and Gomes could join the likes of Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham and Reece James this summer.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has only handed the attacking midfielder three first-team starts this term, all of which have come in the Europa League.
And according to the Manchester Evening News, Gomes is refusing to commit his long-term future to United as he is concerned about his pathway into the first-team.
Gomes became the second youngest player to ever represent United when he came off the bench in the final game of the 2016/17 season against Crystal Palace.
His frustrations at a lack of game time three years on is understandable with the youngster watching fellow academy stars Mason Greenwood and Brandon Williams establish themselves as permanent fixtures in the first-team squad.
Gomes could have perhaps benefitted from a loan spell elsewhere this term but has instead been starring with the likes of James Garner and Tahith Chong in Neil Wood’s U23-side.
In reality, Solskjaer could have opted to play Gomes far more regularly this season in games United lacked potency in attack.
The Norwegian has persisted with Andreas Pereira and Jesse Lingard in attacking midfield, who have both been given more than enough chances without delivering.
Lingard, 27, has been particularly poor, contributing zero goal contributions in 20 Premier League appearances.
While Lingard can be effective when pressing high up against offensively dangerous teams, his weaknesses are exposed against sides that set up with a low block.
The England international has recently teamed up with disruptive agent Mino Raiola who has already caused plenty of problems with Paul Pogba at United.
If Solskjaer decides he has seen enough of Lingard and makes him available for transfer this summer, it will perhaps offer more hope to Gomes who could see a more accessible route into the first-team at Old Trafford and persuade him to stay.