Southampton are increasingly confident that full-back Nathaniel Clyne will ignore interest from Manchester United and sign a new contract at St. Mary's.
The England international has had a fine season on the south coast and has attracted interest from the Red Devils, with some going as far as to suggest that a deal could already be done.
Clyne has around a year left on his contract and has previously expressed a desire to be playing in the Champions League next season, prompting speculation that a move to Old Trafford could be on the cards.
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Southampton have already convinced one star in Jay Rodriguez to sign a new contract amidst reported interest from Tottenham, and chief executive Les Reed says he is confident of tying down Clyne as well.
“With Clyney it’s been the same as with Jay, we’ve been talking for quite a while,” Reed told the club’s website.
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“Ronald made a comment that there was a deadline. That deadline was more about getting a response, and that issue has been solved by the fact Nathaniel has changed his agent. We got an immediate response from his new agent.
“That’s not our business, but there was something there slowing things down. That’s all accelerated, I’m in discussions with his agent and those have been very positive.”
Manchester United are likely to be in the market for a right-back having been forced to deploy winger Antonio Valencia in the position for most of the season. Specialist full-back Rafael is out through a rib injury and is likely to have played his last game for the club having fallen out of favour with boss Louis van Gaal.
"There’s bound to be speculation because Clyne's such a good player and has had such a good season so we have to balance that against what he can do for us in the future and what we can do for him,” Reed added.
“We’re at a very good place at the moment in terms of discussions going on and I’m confident again that we will have a resolution to that sooner rather than later.”
Nathaniel Clyne was seemingly the perfect fit for Manchester United - young, with Premier League experience and likely to be available for a good price because of the length remaining on his contract.
However it would represent a massive step forward for Southampton to keep hold of one of their in-demand stars in the face of interest from a major club. How quickly things can change in 12 months.
Which right-back should Manchester United sign this summer if Clyne is unavailable?
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