One of the more interesting transfer battles this summer will be between Manchester United and Chelsea, fighting for the services of Southampton right back Nathaniel Clyne.
Yes, that’s right; another Southampton player trying to do better for himself by moving up in the world, and leaving the club that has become something of a feeder team to the bigger, richer fish of the Premier League.
United have been tracking the 24-year old for quite some time, but the growing interest coming from Stamford Bridge, at least according to reports, is causing some concern for the Red Devils, who already signed a full back from the Saints last season, left back Luke Shaw.
Clyne is running out of a contract in 2016 and has rejected offers to extend it a number of times. Just like the others who have left, mostly in the mass exodus last season, he’s citing his desire to play Champions League football as the main reason for his desired exit, although Southampton aren’t that far from reaching that point.
Manchester United are hoping they can gain some sort of advantage in this signing race by offering Southampton more than just money. Having Javier Hernandez simply sitting on the payroll and doing nothing doesn’t sound like a plan. Using him in a deal to get Clyne makes more sense.
Hernandez, 26, has hardly been playing this season for Real Madrid in what could be viewed as yet another wasted season for the Mexican striker. He has been getting more and more MLS offers recently, but still sees himself as someone who can make it a starting player in a top league in Europe. Southampton might be able to offer him a starting spot, minutes and a chance to reclaim something that has slipped away from him over the last couple of years.
Be it Clyne or someone else, Louis van Gaal is going to try and sign a right back for Manchester United while also finding a new club for Hernandez, who no longer has a spot, not even as a super-sub, waiting for him at Old Trafford.