Southampton full-back Nathaniel Clyne will snub a move to Manchester United in order to sign a new contract according to Saints executive director Les Reed.
Clyne has been in fine form this season and earned a call up for England, and his efforts are said to have attracted the attention of Manchester United.
The 24-year-old has seemingly hinted in the past that he would be open to leave Southampton in the summer in order to play in the Champions League, while Mirror journalist David McDonnell has claimed that the deal is 'all but done' on Manchester United's official television channel.
However Southampton have been publicly insisting that Clyne is going nowhere and it seems as though they are close to agreeing a contract to keep the former Crystal Palace ace at St Mary's.
Speaking on TalkSPORT, Reed hinted that an agreement could be close, and insisting that the 'signs are good' going into the tail-end of the season.
‘We’re in constant communication. These contract negotiations are never just one meeting, where everything is done and sorted out,’ Reed said.
‘You have to bear in mind, especially with Nathaniel, that we want him to focus on the last few games of the season. That’s why you’ll get players saying, “let’s wait until the end of the season”.
‘That’s quite normal and he’s very happy. He’s managed to force himself into the England squad and is showcasing his talents. 'I’d be very surprised if there wasn’t speculation about him, but at the moment the signs are good.’
If Clyne does sign a new contract at Southampton then Manchester United will have to look for an alternative target. Barcelona's Dani Alves has been mooted as a potential option, however the Brazilian insists he wants to stay put at the Nou Camp.
As it stands Antonio Valencia is Van Gaal's first choice right-back, although the Ecuadorian is a converted winger and the Dutchman will want to land a specialist in the position. The future looks bleak for Rafael, who has rarely featured this term, and has been ruled out for the rest of the season with a rib injury.
Clyne has established himself as one of the most consistent full-backs in the Premier League this season, although he's found himself on the bench of late.
In truth there aren't many full-back options for Van Gaal and he would surely like the twin threat of Clyne on one side and former Saints star Luke Shaw on the other. Reed was far from conclusive in his comments but Clyne may well slip through the net if they don't act.