Manchester United may need to pay a staggering £40 million to secure the services of Southampton and England left-back Luke Shaw this summer. Reports suggest the Red Devils have upped their offer to £34 million - but that fee still falls someway short of the Saints’ asking price.
Southampton have put the £40 million price tag on the 18-year-old’s head, according to the Daily Mail, who claim the Red Devils believed they had a deal worth £10 million less effectively wrapped up. However, new Saints boss Ronald Koeman is doing everything in his power to keep the teenager at St Mary’s, leaving United unsure whether to stick or twist.
SHAW WANTS TO JOIN MANCHESTER UNITED
The Red Devils will hope that Shaw’s desire to move to Old Trafford will ultimately force Southampton into reluctantly selling their prized asset for a slightly more reasonable fee. The full-back told his current employers that he wanted to join Manchester United after playing against the Premier League giants on the final weekend of last season.
A £27 million bid had already been submitted by United at that point - and a deal to take Shaw to Old Trafford was expected to have been completed before the start of this summer’s World Cup finals in Brazil. However, the change in management at St Mary’s - Mauricio Pochettino walked out on the south-coast club in order to join Tottenham - means this transfer saga threatens to roll on into July.
WILL MANCHESTER UNITED LOOK ELSEWHERE?
Can Southampton persuade Shaw to stay at the club, despite the departure of Pochettino and striker Rickie Lambert? It’s doubtful. And the teenager would, in all probability, be left devastated if denied a dream big-money move to Manchester United, who are on the hunt for a talented left-back to replace the ageing Patrice Evra.
But if Southampton are successful in their attempts to convince Shaw to stay, United boss Louis van Gaal will need to turn his attention to other left-back targets. Netherlands international Daley Blind, who has excelled in Brazil over the last couple of weeks, is the obvious choice. Reports last month even claimed United had prepared a bid for the 24-year-old versatile Ajax star.
SHOULD MANCHESTER UNITED PAY £40M?
If United bow to Southampton’s demands, Shaw would leapfrog England teammate Wayne Rooney as the most expensive teenager in football history. But can Van Gaal justify spending £40 million of his summer transfer budget on a full-back?
Of course, energetic full-backs are more valuable in football nowadays than ever before. But there’s no doubt United could snap up an equally talented left-back elsewhere on the continent for half that price. Sevilla’s gifted defender Alberto Moreno, for example, would cost around £20 million.
WOULD ANOTHER CLUB PAY £40M?
Chelsea have previously been linked to Shaw, who grew up supporting the west London outfit, but Jose Mourinho appears to be on the brink of signing Brazilian defender Filipe Luis from Atletico Madrid.
There’s no chance of the Blues, or any other club apart from Manchester United, suddenly agreeing to pay over £30 million. Subsequently, it seems a mere matter of time before Southampton are hugged down and agree a slightly more realistic fee for their teenage star.
Is Shaw worth £40 million, United fans? Here's a video to help you to decide.