Move over Luke Shaw, the latest Southampton-schooled defender getting Manchester United and Arsenal excited is Calum Chambers, with the south coast outfit plotting a move for Leeds’ Sam Byram if they’re unable to retain the youngster.
The Mirror suggests that the 19-year-old, who signed a four-year deal at St Mary’s last summer, has been the subject of interest from Old Trafford and the Emirates.
It’s thought that Southampton, who can clamber above Newcastle and into eighth place if they land odds of 7/10 about beating the Magpies in the sides’ next Premier League outing, would be willing to sell for around £10m.
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Chambers has averaged a solid 2.3 tackles and 1.8 interceptions in 15 starts under Mauricio Pochettino in a promising first top-flight season.
Yet his influence on the team cannot be seen to overwhelmingly positive, as the Saints have won just 29 per cent of the games he’s started, compared to 55 per cent of those in which he hasn’t made the XI.
If the academy product does go the way of Theo Walcott, Gareth Bale and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in swapping St Mary’s for a more high-profile stable then Leeds’ England Under-20 man Byram has been identified as the desired replacement.
The sleeping Yorkshire giants are not flush with funds at present after prospective new owner Massimo Cellino failed the Football League’s fit and proper persons test.
As a result they would find it hard to turn down an offer for their versatile defender were Southampton to come in for him in the summer.
Although Nathaniel Clyne would likely assume outright control of first-choice right-back status, Byram would be expected to offer cover, while he could also be used as an auxiliary winger if necessary.