Manchester United to fight Chelsea for 'the English Gareth Bale' - report

Manchester United have been tipped to move for Luke Shaw of Southampton.

Manchester United were knocked back in their efforts to sign left-back Leighton Baines once again this week, and word is that the club are turning to other targets.

The Express report that United are to re-ignite their previous interest in Southampton left-back Luke Shaw.

"MANCHESTER UNITED have enquired over the availability of Southampton left-back Luke Shaw as they draw up a list of potential alternatives to Everton’s Leighton Baines."

Shaw, 18, became a regular for Southampton last season in the Premier League, and was excellent at the weekend once again as the Saints won their opener away to West Brom.

Rising from the same youth academy where Gareth Bale made his name, Shaw plays in the position the Welshman did for Southampton, before he moved to Spurs. United were interested in him but failed to pursue it, no doubt a huge regret to the club. Comparisons between the two are inevitable and were first made last year when Shaw broke into the side.

Southampton will attempt to resist any advances from United; perhaps aware they will not be able to hang onto the young talent forever, but now in the Premier League do not need to cash in on their starlets as they once did with Bale and latterly Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Shaw signed a new contract earlier this year, placing Southampton in an even greater position of strength regarding an approach.

Perhaps United's biggest threat comes from Chelsea, with Shaw admitting on Twitter last season that he was a fan of the west London club.

With Ashley Cole only signing a short-term extension at the club, there has been speculation the Blues could move for the player next summer if the England man is not offered a new deal.

United's interest could well push Chelsea's interest forward, just as Newcastle's bid for Wayne Rooney back in 2004 sparked Manchester United into action and buying the then young striker, when he was previously simply on their watchlist.

However if Luke Shaw is thinking about the here and now, he may well be advised to stay at Southampton, who are building an impressive team, and see where the journey takes him.

With teammate Rickie Lambert recently recognised by England, there is every chance that by playing regularly he can also attract the attentions of Roy Hodgson in time for the World Cup - should the Three Lions qualify - where he can perhaps one day replace Ashley Cole at international level.

How much would it take for Southampton to sell? Do you agree his best move right now is to stay put, or should he seize the chance to move if one comes along?

image: © ingythewingy

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for MANCHESTER UNITED team updates

Register for CHELSEA team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch