'Almost like he was telling': Gary Neville thinks one Nottingham Forest star isn't convinced they'll stay up
Gary Neville has given his thoughts on Nottingham Forest star Jesse Lingard on The Overlap Live Fan Debate.
The Sky Sports pundit says he has perceived Lingard’s one-year contract at the City Ground as a lack of faith in the Reds’ Premier League hopes.
Forest are back in the top flight for the first time in 23 years after winning the Championship playoffs last season.
The Reds have bolstered their ranks significantly, bringing in 12 new signings, with more potentially on the horizon.
And Lingard was the standout signing for Forest as he linked up with the Reds after leaving Manchester United.
The Telegraph’s John Percy has claimed that the Reds tempted Lingard to join on a basic wage of £80,000-a-week.
Bonuses will then take his salary to around £120,000-a-week, he added.
But Neville suggested he was baffled by Lingard’s one-year deal, claiming “you commit to a club for at least two years” usually.
“The Lingard thing… was just a one-year,” he said. “It was almost like he was telling everybody ‘I don’t think these will stay up’.
“That’s how I read it, maybe it was wrong, but I read it as being a bit of a cold…
“You commit to a club for at least two years, don’t you, ordinarily.
“To me it just said ‘these aren’t going to be in the league next year’.
“‘I’m gonna play one year in the Premier then I’m gonna go play somewhere else.’
“It felt a little bit clinical to me, and that’s why I think it got the criticism that it did.”
Best to be cautious – TBR View
When a club earns promotion to the Premier League, it’s wise for them to be cautious in terms of their finances.
Forest struck gold in convincing Lingard to join, as he’s a top player with a proven Premier League record.
Even if he didn’t think Forest could stay up, if they did go down with his salary, it would cause problems.
Both parties seem happy with a one-year deal at this moment in time.
If Forest go down, it’ll be one less high earner on their wage bill, while Lingard will be free to join another club.
If they stay up, Lingard could well decide to pen fresh terms, or perhaps use it as a shop window opportunity.
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