Manchester United could go after Southampton full-back Nathaniel Clyne in the summer after his contract talks with the club have broken down.
Clyne is contracted with the club until 2016 and could follow in fellow English fullback Luke Shaw’s footsteps who made the move to Old Trafford this past summer.
MirrorSport had revealed last month that Clyne will stay at the club until the summer and consider his options. The 23-year-old will have only a year remaining on his contract come summer, which could start a bidding war amongst potential suitors as Southampton will be helpless to let him go for a slightly lesser fee.
The Saints have had a brilliant season so far despite losing some key performers like Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana, Dejan Lovren and Luke Shaw. They were expected to be in mid-table by best, but have surprised everyone and have been consistent at it. However, one can only imagine that they’ll continue to lose players to bigger teams who provide the chance to play in Europe, fight for trophies and pay better wages.
Clyne’s move to United could benefit Louis Van Gaal’s side as the right back area has been somewhat problematic for them. Over the last two seasons, they haven’t had a player who has made that position his own. Brazilian Rafael was seen as a long-term solution in that position during the Alex Ferguson days, but he hasn’t been in good form and has missed out due to injuries.
Louis Van Gaal has tried a few players in the position, most recently Patrick McNair, but the 19-year old is more of a center back. The same can be told about Antonio Valencia who is more attack minded and is suitable as a right sided midfielder rather than full back. His defensive abilities have been questioned many times. If Clyne signs for Manchester United, he will be expected to make the first team straight away. His market value is close to a 12 m.
Clyne has impressed this season for the Saints and has made a total of 30 appearances for the club and has helped them to fifth place, a point behind the fourth and final Champions League place. Clyne’s move to United might depend on Champions league qualification as well. Since Southampton are in a good position to qualify for the elite competition next year, he could stay at the club if they beat United to a top four finish.