Manchester United have been dealt a blow in their alleged pursuit of Nathaniel Clyne after the Southampton defender hinted he is prepared to stay at St Mary's beyond this summer.
The 24-year-old has been heavily linked with a move away from the south coast when the transfer window reopens, with Old Trafford touted as a probable destination for the England international.
Red Devils boss Louis van Gaal is looking to add a new right-back to his squad, and has identified the former Crystal Palace man as a possible acquisition.
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However, the veteran Dutch coach's hopes of luring Clyne to the Theatre of Dreams have been hampered following the player's latest comments that suggest he doesn't need to be playing for a top four club to cement his place in the Three Lions team.
"As long as you're playing well for your club and you're doing ever so well in the Premier League then, yeah, you'll get a chance [at international level], regardless of whether you're in a top team or not," he told Sky Sports News.
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"But Southampton's pushing up, so why can't we be a top team?"
The marauding full-back has been called up to Roy Hodgson's squad for the forthcoming games against the Republic of Ireland and Slovenia - reward for an impressive season at high-flying Southampton.
With just over 12 months remaining on his current contract with Ronald Koeman's side, the club have been keen for Clyne to pen an extension, but so far talks continue to stall and an agreement has not been reached.
That had given Manchester United supporters reason to be optimistic that the player could follow in the footsteps of former team-mate Luke Shaw by swapping Saints for the Red Devils at the end of the season.
However, it now looks as though Clyne is giving serious consideration to committing his future to Southampton, seemingly after receiving reassurances that his international prospects will not be affected by choosing to stay in Hampshire.
After securing a seventh place finish in the Premier League this season, Southampton are awaiting the outcome of this weekend's FA Cup final to see whether they have qualified for the Europa League next term.
An Arsenal victory will hand them entry into the third qualifying round of Europe's second tier competition, which will provide Clyne and the club's other burgeoning young talents valuable experience.
Where do you think Nathaniel Clyne will be playing his football next season? Is he better off staying at Southampton, or should he push for a move to Manchester United? Have your say below...
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