Manchester United have secured a deal for their first summer signing - Southampton right-back Nathaniel Clyne.
This is according to the Mirror’s well-connected journalist David McDonnell, who revealed the news live on MUTV on Tuesday evening.
A video of the moment McDonnell says: “What I’m told is it’s a done deal” can be seen by scrolling down this page.
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Clyne set to replace Rafael
Speculation has been rife in recent weeks that Manchester United were in the process of attempting to sign a new right-back to replace Rafael, the Brazilian defender who has failed to convince Louis van Gaal this season and could now leave the club in the summer.
Clyne, who will have 12 months left to run on his Southampton contract this summer, was one of the names strongly linked with a move to the Red Devils - and it now seems the England international will join his former teammate Luke Shaw at Old Trafford in time for the start of the 2015-16 campaign.
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Clyne can become a first-class right-back
The 24-year-old has been superb this season under Ronald Koeman, having made a total of 34 appearances in all competitions for the Saints, scoring three goals in the process. Chelsea are also reportedly interested, but it seems United have won the race.
While Antonio Valencia has performed well as a make-shift right-back in recent months, Clyne will be a more natural fit for that position thanks to his superior defensive ability.
Also dangerous going forwards, Clyne may lack the profile of Barcelona’s Dani Alves - who has also been linked with a move to Manchester United in recent months - but he has the potential to become one of the best right-backs in Europe.
He’s already one of the best in the Premier League and Southampton are guaranteed to make a hefty profit on the £2.15 million they paid to Crystal Palace three years ago.
Better option that Alves or Coleman
So, why have Manchester United opted for Clyne over Alves or Everton’s Seamus Coleman?
Barcelona are still desperately attempting to secure the services of Alves for another season because their existing transfer ban means they are unable to sign a replacement until January 2016.
The Brazilian defender is demanding huge wages as well as a three-year contract - and the Red Devils may feel the full-back, who turns 32 next month, is simply not worth it.
While Coleman, who signed a new five-year deal at Goodison Park last summer, would cost too much money to sign from the Toffees.
Is Nathaniel Clyne a solid first signing for Manchester United - or is he not good enough? Have your say in the comments below!
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