Manchester United wanted to sign Southampton star last summer

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Southampton defender Nathaniel Clyne snubbed reported interest from Manchester United and Manchester City last summer in favour of sealing a move to St Mary's, reports the London Evening Standard.

The 22-year-old - now in his second full season with the south coast club - has drawn plenty of plaudits following a series of impressive performances from right-back over the past 12 months.

Clyne's form has been recognised with regular call-ups to the England U21 squad, and now the flying full-back will be looking to go one step further and put himself in contention for Roy Hodgson's senior squad ahead of the World Cup in Brazil next summer.

The chance to play regular Premier League football has been instrumental in the former Crystal Palace star's development, vindicating his decision to turn down advances from Manchester United and Manchester City.

It's unlikely that Clyne would have been afforded the same first-team opportunities at either Old Trafford or the Etihad Stadium, given the strength of the respective squads previously managed by Sir Alex Ferguson and Roberto Mancini.

Now, under the tutelage of Mauricio Pochettino, Clyne is flourishing with the Saints, and has excelled in clashes against some of the Premier League's biggest clubs.

This weekend, he looks forward to facing his former club for the first time since leaving Selhurst Park at the end of his contract last year, as Southampton welcome Ian Holloway's side to St Mary's.

"It is definitely special, the fact I am playing my former club for the first time," said Clyne ahead of the clash.

"I still talk to a few of their players about how it is going down there. Obviously they are doing well and deserve to be here in the Premier League.

"I am definitely excited and it should be a good game, both teams going at it, and hopefully we can get away with the three points."

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Manchester United
Nathanial Clyne
Premier League

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