Southampton defender Nathaniel Clyne is set to reject the club's offer of a new contract worth £45,000-a-week, because according to ESPN sources he has his heart set on a move to Manchester United.
Clyne is out of contract at the end of next season, which means this summer holds the key to his long-term future.
Saints want the promising right-back to stay put after a tremendous season on the South Coast, but unless he puts pen to paper on a new deal between now and May they are likely resigned to selling the 23-year-old to the highest bidder, with United and Chelsea ready to pounce.
United desperately need new right-back
It's clear to see why United are taking a serious look at Clyne, with the Red Devils searching for a new right-back as a top summer transfer priority.
Rafael has failed to convince Louis van Gaal that he's the man to do that job moving forward, while Antonio Valencia is capable but error-prone in a position that's far from his best. Clyne would bring raw pace and strong distribution to the role, although it remains to be seen what Southampton's asking price for the England international would be.
Clyne wants United switch
Van Gaal will have to fight a Chelsea side looking to ease the burden on Branislav Ivanovic to sign Clyne, but ESPN sources believe he favours a move to Old Trafford if pushed to choose between the two Premier League giants.
That's a factor United simply have to take advantage of, because Clyne looks a player ready-made for Van Gaal. The Dutchman puts a huge emphasis on attacking full-backs in either of his preferred 3-5-2 or 4-3-1-2 systems, which means he needs a player with the former Crystal Palace starlet's qualities as a matter of urgency.
Given his tricky contract situation Clyne would come far cheaper than a former team-mate in Luke Shaw to boot, so this switch looks a no-brainer for a United side who can then spend big on a new centre-forward with a key addition to their defence sewn up. Ed Woodward its over to you.
Man United fans, do you think Clyne is a worthy signing? Is he better than Rafael? Let us know by having your say in the comment box below!
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