Crystal Palace are battling Arsenal for the signature of Ryan Bertrand after Southampton confirmed his impending departure this week, as reported by The Standard.
The former England international may be about to turn 32 but, even if his peak years are in the past, he’s still not short of admirers as his £70,000-a-week contract runs down.
The question is – what does Bertrand want?
Would he rather join a bonafide English giant in the shape of Arsenal and act as an experienced back-up behind the exceptional Kieran Tierney?
The Gunners seem likely to miss out on European football for the first time in 25 years but the lure of Arsenal, even after a miserable couple of seasons at the Emirates, shouldn’t be underplayed.
If Bertrand wants to play first-team football week in, week out, however, perhaps Crystal Palace should be his choice?
Although, with Tyrick Mitchell impressing at Selhurst Park, the 2012 Champions League winner wouldn’t be guaranteed a place in Palace’s starting XI either.
The Standard reports Crystal Palace have identified Bertrand as a potential replacement for their own departing left-back.
Patrick van Aanholt will also be a free agent in July.
Goal recently reported Bertrand, a former Chelsea youngster, would jump at the chance to play in continental competition again before he hangs up his boots.
With that in mind, AC Milan, Leicester or Manchester City may be better placed than Arsenal or Palace to strike a deal for the veteran full-back.
Interestingly, Bertrand was handed his England debut by current Eagles boss Ross Hodgson in 2012, although it remains to be seen whether the Premier League’s oldest gaffer will stay at Selhurst Park beyond this season.