Southampton have slapped a £30million price tag on hot prospect Luke Shaw to scare off potential bidders, reports the Daily Star.
The English full-back, 18, has emerged as one of the country's most sought-after youngsters, with the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea and Manchester City reported to be interested.
It had been widely reported that Chelsea, yesterday, had a £21million bid for the Saints left-back rejected, as the club insisted that an offer in the region of £30 million would be more acceptable.
Chelsea feel they have an advantage in the race for the England youngster, as Shaw himself admitted to being a Blues fan. However, with Southampton doing everything they can to keep the youngster, it could be a long negotiation period between the two clubs if Chelsea hope to get Shaw for cheaper.
A £30 million switch would set a new world-record for the most expensive full-back, surpassing Barcelona's Dani Alves, who moved to the Nou Camp in 2008 for £29.5 million.
With Southampton chairman Nicola Cortese resigning, and manager Mauricio Pochettino's future still in doubt, this may signal departures from Southampton's well established English pool of youngsters.
With Chelsea left-back Ryan Bertrand heading to Aston Villa on loan until the end of the season, this may signal the 24-year-old's end of the road at the Bridge, as Shaw looks to be Jose Mourinho's ideal replacement for long term incumbent Ashley Cole.
There has also been interest reported from both sides of Manchester, with Manchester United's pursuit of Leighton Baines all but over, and Manchester City's search for an ideal back up for Aleksander Kolarov, who knows where the Saints upcoming star may see his future.
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