Manchester United are weighing up a surprise summer move for Tottenham Hotspur right-back Kyle Walker, according to the Daily Mirror.
United have recently been linked with a £15 million swoop for Southampton’s Nathaniel Clyne, per the likes of the Mirror, as manager Louis van Gaal searches for a potential upgrade to Antonio Valencia and Rafael.
The England defender’s contract is set to expire in 2016 but, after a move failed to materialise last month, Saints chairman Ralph Krueger told the Daily Echo this week that he is relaxed about the situation.
"Nathaniel Clyne - the only thing I need to know in my position is that those conversations are going on the same line and we are dealing with them the same way, in the best interests of the club, and we stay within our parameters,” Krueger said.
"If players understand this needs to be a win-win then I can't think of a better place for players to play - for players who are not at their potential. You would definitely want to stay in Southampton."
United are therefore said to have earmarked Walker as a potential alternative to his fellow international, with the club even believed to have made discreet enquiries about his situation at White Hart Lane.
The former Sheffield United product has been in solid form this campaign since returning from a longstanding abdominal problem which forced him to miss the summer’s World Cup, making 12 total appearances from December onwards.
Nevertheless, having penned a new deal with Spurs last season to keep him tied to the club until 2019, the 10-times capped defender wouldn’t come cheap, while it’s difficult to imagine management sanctioning his sale unless a sizeable offer comes in.
In addition, with Kyle Naughton shipped off to Swansea last month, the promising DeAndre Yedlin far from ready for a starting role and Eric Dier and Vlad Chiriches forced to deputise at right-back this season, allowing him to leave would look like a far from wise decision on paper without a solid replacement lined up.
Aged 24, it’s understandable if United would have Walker on their transfer wishlist given his past form and upside, but one can’t envisage Van Gaal facing a straightforward task in his proposed attempts to lure him to Old Trafford.