Reports from The Sun suggest that Manchester United are interested in signing Southampton’s England international fullback Nathaniel Clyne.
The Crystal Palace academy product can be backed to sign at Old Trafford before 1 September 2015 at 4/1, although he remains 1/2 to ply his trade at St Mary’s at the same point in time.
It’s a news line that got the bwinbetting brains trust wondering…
At a time when quality-attacking full-backs are worth their weight in gold, just how much would it take United to land Clyne?
The Red Devils set the bar for the most sought after full-back talent sky high this summer when landing Luke Shaw for circa £30m.
However, it must be noted that the 19-year-old had inked a five-year deal on the south coast just a year earlier – Clyne is inside the final 18 months of his contract.
Calum Chambers was another full-back signed out of the Southampton stable this summer, when Arsenal hoiked him from a four-year treaty in return for £16m.
However, the fresh-faced young Gunner had played only 22 league games for the Saints before the switch – Clyne is far more experienced having played 78 times for the Saints in addition to 137 appearances for Palace before that.
As such it seems fair to position his value somewhere between his two former teammates.
Furthermore the 23-year-old’s more advanced age and dwindling contract would likely place his value closer to the Chambers end of the scale, with a fee of £18m-£20m sounding about right.
The transfer values of all three players look fairly astronomical in comparison to the modest outlays required for Liverpool and Chelsea to snare Alberto Moreno (£12m) and Filipe Luis (£15.8m) respectively.
However, in an era in which the home grown players rule continues to check the imperialistic impulses of Premier League directors of football, such a mark-up for young English talent is to be expected.