Is Leeds favourite's fate connected to Manchester United interest in England international?

Clyne Tackles Gervinho

Southampton are reportedly interest in Sam Byram, but is it only a case of what if, should Manchester United act on interest in Nathaniel Clyne.

Leeds United fan favourite Sam Byram is re-emerging as a transfer target for Southampton, report The Star.

The defender told the Yorkshire Evening Post earlier this month he wanted to stay at Leeds, where he has already surpassed 100 appearances.

SkySports reported Southampton had a bid for Byram knocked back in the summer, and walked away from the transfer chase, but Manchester United's interest in Nathaniel Clyne could force their hand.

The Saints do not want to lose Clyne, who has established himself as currently England's first choice right-back under Roy Hodgson, and has been one of the Premier League's top performers this season.

ESPN reported last week that Manchester United are going to attempt to land the defender this January, with Louis van Gaal unconvinced over Rafael da Silva at right-back.

To sign Clyne would require a huge bid, and Southampton proved last summer they will not sell cheap, convincing United to pay £27 million for Luke Shaw, a player who was more inexperienced than Clyne and plays on the opposite flank.

For United it's tempting to have two England internationals on either side at full-back, while Southampton have shown if the money is right they will sell, sign a replacement for far cheaper and continue their march upwards; the Saints already sit one place above the Red Devils in the Premier League table.

Southampton do not need Sam Byram right now while Nathaniel Clyne is at the club, but he is clearly a player they admire given their bid for him last summer which Ronald Koeman confirmed to SkySports.

With big money acquired for Clyne, they would be able to spend a little easier and meet demands made by Leeds and still have plenty left over.

Leeds should be confident of holding onto Byram for now, but if Manchester United swoop for Clyne, Southampton's interest could see a renewed push, and potential Champpions League football on offer next season as a tempter, a chance too good for even the homegrown academy star to turn down.

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