Manchester City have reportedly joined Arsenal in the race to sign Ryan Bertrand, who is set to leave Southampton as a free agent this summer.
According to a report by Daily Mail, the race to sign Ryan Bertrand in the summer transfer window is heating up. While Arsenal have stepped up their efforts to land the cultured Southampton defender, they now face stiff competition from Manchester City in pursuit of the 31-year-old.
Bertrand has established himself as one of the better full-backs on show in the Premier League since joining Southampton from Chelsea in the summer of 2014. Initially signed on loan from the Blues, the Saints chose to make his move permanent a year later and he has ended up being a regular fixture for them for the most part of the last half-a-dozen years.
Till date, Bertrand has turned out 240 times for Southampton, even chipping in with 8 goals and 20 assists. However, his time at St. Mary’s is coming to an end in the summer transfer window, with the Saints and the player himself confirming that he will leave when his contract expires at the end of the season. And, hoping to pounce on the situation, are Arsenal and Manchester City.
Arsenal’s need to sign a left-back is pretty straightforward. Ever since Sead Kolasinac was allowed to join Schalke on loan for the second half of the season, Mikel Arteta has been sweating over the backup for Kieran Tierney whenever the Scot has been sidelined. So far, he has fielded Cedric Soares, Bukayo Saka and Granit Xhaka as makeshift left-backs, but to varying degrees of success.
However, as Arsenal look to push for a place back in the top four next season, they need quality options as far as backups are concerned. To that end, they are pursuing a move for Bertrand, who is also appealing due to the fact that he will not cost anything on the transfer fee front. Manchester City, though, are the latest entrants in the race to sign the cultured defender.
The newly-crowned Premier League champions could be set to part ways with Benjamin Mendy, who has frustrated with his injury woes since arriving from AS Monaco. The Frenchman has also been linked with a shock move to Real Madrid and with the versatile Joao Cancelo and Oleksandr Zinchenko being rotated on the left flank in his stead, Pep Guardiola could well do with a natural option.
However, it appears as if Arsenal could be ahead in the race to sign Bertrand, having intensified their attempts to sign him by advancing talks over a Bosman move. Having said that, the entrance of Manchester City into the picture could complicate matters and it remains to be seen if the Premier League champions can swoop the former Chelsea defender away from Arsenal’s clutches.