Nathaniel Clyne has shrugged off speculation linking him with Manchester United, by revealing he is happy to sign a new contract at Southampton.
Louis van Gaal spent £150million on the squad he inherited from David Moyes last summer, but the right fullback position remains one he needs to address ahead of next term. It doesn’t appear as though Brazilian Rafael da Silva has a future at Old Trafford whilst Phil Jones is seen as a long-term centre-half, which has left Ecuadorian winger Antonio Valencia filling in on the right.
However, this isn’t considered to be the long-term answer, and it has been widely reported that the Dutch coach has identified Clyne as the solution. The 24-year-old was actually on United’s radar during the Sir Alex Ferguson reign, but they didn’t strengthen their interest and were content to let the defender leave Crystal Palace for the Saints in the summer of 2012.
He has since gone on to establish himself as one of the best fullbacks in the country, and has now earned four caps for England. Clyne is out of contract at the end of next season and the St Mary’s club would likely sell him this summer if no new agreement has been reached, but despite reports linking him with United, the Stockwell-born player insists he is happy to stay with Southampton.
“I am enjoying my football for Southampton, playing week-in, week-out and it is an up-and-coming club,” Clyne told the Southampton Daily Echo. “I am happy playing for Southampton and happy to stay at Southampton as well. My agent is negotiating [a potential new contract], so I will just leave it with my agent and I am just going to concentrate on playing my football.”
On 30 April Ronald Koeman stated that Clyne had been given 10 days to decide if he wanted to remain at Southampton, so his future could be known by the end of this week. If it transpires that he will be sold, his contract situation could make it difficult for the Saints to demand a transfer fee which reflects his current reputation, but would still likely hold out for £20million.
Will Nathaniel Clyne stay at Southampton, or are his latest comments merely to appease their fans as he touts for a move to a team who can offer UEFA Champions League football?