Jesse Lingard: Birmingham City keen to keep Man Utd youngster

Birmingham City boss Lee Clark is hoping to keep Manchester United midfielder Jesse Lingard beyond the scheduled end of his loan on 1 January.

Lingard, 21, is now suspended, having picked up an automatic three-match ban for his lunge on Jordi Gomez in the 0-0 Boxing Day draw at Wigan Athletic.

But Blues boss Lee Clark is hoping to persuade United boss David Moyes to allow Lingard to stay at St Andrew's.

"Hopefully it isn't Jesse's last bit of action in a Birmingham shirt," he said.

"We'll have to talk to Manchester United now because the loan officially runs out after the Barnsley game on New Year's Day.

Jesse Lingard is playing in a tough league and doing terrifically well

Lee Clark Birmingham City manager

"I need to try to convince David Moyes that to help his development and to help Manchester United, it would be better for Jesse to stay here.

"I know he's talked about bringing all his loan players back to enhance his own squad but hopefully he gets one or two of his transfer targets in January and he might not need to bring those lads back.

"Jesse has been playing in a tough league in the Championship, he's playing every week, he's doing terrifically well and he's learning all parts of the game.

"Ultimately David decides because he'll know whether he'll be coming back to be part of his playing squad or whether it's him staying with us and getting another 22 to 23 Championship games under his belt."

Lingard initially arrived at St Andrew's in September, before signing a two-month extension in October, tying him to Blues until 14 December before a further extension up to New Year's Day.

Lingard scored six goals in his first seven matches for Blues, sparked by his stunning four-goal debut against Sheffield Wednesday in September.

Blues currently stand 18th in the Championship, seven points clear of danger, thanks to an unbeaten eight-match run.

Meanwhile, Blues have allowed young right-back Ryan Higgins to join Conference North side Leamington on a month's loan up to and including 25 January.