Manchester United defender target Luke Shaw has been urged to snub a move away from Southampton this summer.
Teammate Jay Rodriguez remains hopeful that the 18-year-old will turn down the advances of the former Premier League champions, and remain at the south coast club next season.
It might be wishful thinking from the injured England forward however, with Goal.com reporting yesterday that the left-back had already agreed in principle to a £160,000-a-week contract over five years. That makes the deal worth a stunning £40million overall.
"You don't want to see players going and the team being taken apart. You can sometimes never stop it, it is one of those things so I'm trying not to think about it and hopefully we will have everyone at pre-season,” he said, according to The Daily Star.
Shaw has enjoyed an astonishing rise to prominence over the past 18 months, becoming a first team regular at St Mary’s and forcing his way into the England squad for this summer’s World Cup in Brazil.
Mauricio Pochettino’s exit has led to increased speculation over his future with the Saints however, and it’s the Red Devils who appear to be at the front of the queue despite Chelsea also being linked in the summer.
Jose Mourinho is expected to make a number of changes to the Blues line-up this summer, although strikers appear to be the priority at Stamford Bridge with Fernando Torres, Demba Ba and Samuel Eto'o all failing to impress last season.
There has also been no claim that Chelsea have offered a contract, let alone one the size of their rivals.
Whilst talk of a deal already being agreed between the player and Manchester United may well be premature, you could argue there is no smoke without fire, and a move now looks more likely than ever.
Louis van Gaal, who has taken the reigns from David Moyes and part-time successor Ryan Giggs at Old Trafford, is in need of a left-back as Patrice Evra’s time at the club draws to a close. The Frenchman has signed a one-year contract extension, but is not the long-term option.
Shaw may well be that man, and appears to have a long and potentially successful career ahead of him. Whilst the Saints are a club on the up, it’d be hard to argue that the Red Devils offer more chance of success - even after their dismal last campaign.
Throw in the staggering wage offer being talked about, and you have a very enticing package to lure the player to Manchester United ahead of anyone else who might be interested.
In an ideal word, it would be good for Shaw to stay with Southampton and gain another year's worth of experience before potentially moving on to one of the biggest names in English football.
However, nobody could begrudge a young player such an incredible offer, and it's hard to see this going any way other than a move to Manchester United when the transfer window opens in July.