Jose Mourinho may have found a successor to the oft-criticized Luke Shaw in Southampton's Ryan Bertrand.
Jose Mourinho may have found a successor to the oft-criticized Luke Shaw in Southampton's Ryan Bertrand. The Southampton and England left back is reportedly set to quit the Saints this summer, regardless of their Premier League survival, and there will be no shortage of suitors.
The Sun rate the former Chelsea full back at £25m, but that figure could rise with the suggestion that Man Utd will be joined in any pursuit by Tottenham Hotspur, Everton and Newcastle United.
While Danny Rose is apparently still Mourinho's No. 1 target to strengthen at fullback, Bertrand could prove to be a more cost-effective option, with the Southampton hierarchy potentially resigned to his exit.
Bertrand, a Champions League winner with Chelsea, is likely to leave this summer regardless of whether Southampton stay in the Premier League and The Sun cite a source that claims the player will 'give his all' to avoid relegation but wants a new challenge this summer.
Last summer, 28-year-old Bertrand was the subject of interest from Manchester City - who eventually signed Benjamin Mendy - but was made to stay put on the south coast by the club, who feared the effect of losing both the left back and Virgil van Dijk in the same season.
Now it appears the player will be allowed to move on. However, the fierce competition for his signature and fact that he still has three years left to run on his contract with Southampton means the transfer story could become a protracted one.
Manchester United's interest in recruiting at fullback is well known, with Mourinho often fielding Ashley Young - a natural winger - at left back this season, while the manager's relationship with Shaw appears to have become untenable. Other full back options Mateo Darmian and Daley Blind both also seem set for a summer exit.
Everton and Newcastle's ability to land Bertrand may ultimately depend on the seriousness of United's interest, while Spurs may only be forced into the market if indeed the Red Devils pursue their current star Rose.