Should Manchester United go all out for Nathaniel Clyne next summer?

Clyne Tackles Gervinho

The England international has shone for Southampton this season.

Southampton right back Nathaniel Clyne has this week proved himself one of the top defensive talents in the Premier League with eye-catching performances for England.

Unsurprisingly, it has seen heightened interest in the London-born player, with the likes of Liverpool and Manchester United said to be developing an interest.

The 23-year-old could have already been a United player had Sir Alex Ferguson got his way.

Clyne of course refused a switch to Old Trafford when he left Crystal Palace in 2012, instead opting for the prospect of more regular football with the then newly promoted Saints.

It is a decision that has hugely paid off for the right back, who has had two years to come to terms with Premier League football at a club where he wouldn't have been under instant pressure to find his feet. As it turned out, Clyne has established himself as one of the top fullbacks in the league, and arguably the best English option on the right side of defence.

That form has seen Clyne picked for the last two England fixtures under Roy Hodgson, and the calm and dominant performances he put in on his first couple of international games would surely have encouraged any clubs monitoring him and curious as to whether he can make the step up to a level of those seeking to challenge for domestic and European titles.

In contrast, the Red Devils have struggled to field a regular, specialised right back in the last two years, with first choice Rafael missing much of last season with injury and failing to reach his previous form when he did feature. After that, any number of midfielders and central defenders have taken turns at the problem position, all the while only highlighting that at the very least, Louis van Gaal needs significant reinforcements there.

United raided the Saints this summer just gone to sign Luke Shaw, paying a huge fee that Southampton found impossible to refuse, and Van Gaal could do much worse than returning for the 19-year-old's former teammate next summer.

But if United are interested in Clyne, they will have to deal with the fact that this season at Southampton, Ronald Koeman has gotten his players performing to a outstanding level, none more than Clyne, who had already impressed last year under Mauricio Pochettino.

Koeman has revealed the club have already opened contract talks with Clyne in an effort to reward him for his form and ward off interest from the Premier League big boys.

The Saints find themselves second to only Chelsea in the Premier League, and if the South Coast club continue to stay in the top four, it may be difficult for anyone, Manchester United included, to pry away the fullback.

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