Transfer news: Saints confident with loan move for star who's "as brave as a lion"

Southampton's home ground, St Mary's

Southampton are growing in confidence that they will be able to sign Manchester United defender Brandon Williams on loan, according to The Athletic.

What’s the latest transfer news involving Williams?

The South Coast club tried to sign Williams in each of the last two transfer windows, but their efforts were thwarted by United who wanted to keep Williams at Old Trafford. However, there is a sense that it could be third time lucky for Southampton this summer.

It has been reported that Southampton are hopeful of getting a loan deal finalised shortly, so that Williams can join them for pre-season ahead of the 2021/22 campaign kicking off next month.

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How does Hasenhuttl plan to use Williams?

It is understood that Ralph Hasenhuttl will give Williams the chance to stake his claim for either full-back berth if he does move to St Mary’s in the coming weeks.

The 20-year-old has largely been used as a left-back at United but the Austrian coach is happy to give Williams the chance to operate on the right flank as well.

The Athletic report also claims that Hasenhuttl intends to offer Williams more game time than he has received over the past 12 months at United, suggesting that the youngster will not be restricted to playing second fiddle to the side’s current full-back options, Kyle Walker-Peters and Romain Perraud.

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What did Solskjaer say about Williams?

Williams made his mark at United in 2019/20, and he played eight matches in the Europa League that year as the Red Devils reached the semi-finals of the competition.

After one of the side’s group stage wins, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer lavished the defender with praise.

As quoted by Sky Sports, Solskjaer said: “For me, Brandon was man of the match. He’s been fantastic the few games he’s played. The boy has no fear, he is as brave as a lion and he got us the win.”

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Are there any key issues yet to be resolved?

The two clubs still have to agree on a loan fee for Williams before the transfer can be completed.

United demanded that West Ham paid a £1.5m loan fee for Jesse Lingard back in January, and it is expected that they will insist upon Southampton forking out some money for Williams.

If United want a significant fee then this could become a problem, and may cause the deal to fall through. However, if the clubs can agree on a payment, it seems there will be nothing else standing in the way of the transfer happening.

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