According to reports, Manchester United have edged ahead of Chelsea in the race to sign Southampton’s £27million-rated Luke Shaw.
The 18-year-old has earned a reputation as one of the best young talents in the Premier League, and some even feel he should be ahead of Ashley Cole in the pecking order for England at the World Cup Finals. By the time the tournament begins in Brazil, though, there is every chance the youngster will no longer be employed by Southampton.
Shaw has been heavily linked with a move away from the Saints during the summer, and it has long been felt that he will join his boyhood club Chelsea. Jose Mourinho is in the market for a new left fullback to succeed Cole, who has this season lost his place to Spanish international Cesar Azpilicueta, who usually operates on the other flank.
But according to The Sunday Mirror, the Blues look set to miss out on the teenager to United, who themselves are in desperate need for reinforcements. Current number three Patrice Evra is out of contract at the end of the season and no longer at his the peak of his powers, whilst Alexander Buttner has failed to impress since arriving in England.
The tabloid claims David Moyes is prepared to spend £27million on his budget to sign Shaw, who can expect a salary of £85,000-per-week by heading to Old Trafford. With the UEFA Champions League unlikely to be on the agenda for the outgoing champions next season, to beat a rival side to such a signing would be considered a huge boost.
It would, though, be a massive loss to Southampton, who have expressed a desire to keep hold of the defender for at least another campaign. But although he is under contract at St Mary’s until the summer of 2018, they will be realistic enough to accept that should a large bid for his signature arrive during the window, they would struggle to refuse.
On another note, selling one of their star players would at least ensure they wouldn’t have to cash in on another. For example, the money they would receive from the Shaw sale would likely place them in a good position to retain the services of his England team-mates Adam Lallana, Jay Rodriguez and, to a lesser extent, Rickie Lambert.