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Manchester United to swoop for Southampton’s Nathaniel Clyne

Manchester United, 7/2 with Coral to win a major trophy, have supposedly set their sights on Southampton fullback Nathaniel Clyne.

In a bid to bolster their backline, the Red Devils could make a move as early as Janaury, but are also prepared to wait until the end of the season to lure one of their top targets.

Louis van Gaal is rumoured to have been given the green light to authorise another summer of big spending, with United’s injury-prone rearguard expected to be the main focus of recruitment.

England international Clyne has impressed for the Saints so far this season, with his fine form finally leading to his first two Three Lions caps.

With flying full back Clyne’s contract due to expire in June 2016, the south coast club are well aware that they may struggle to hold on to yet another of their stars, but would likely force any potential suitor to fork out a substantial fee.

Any deal would almost certainly cost United upwards of £20m, after former Southampton left back Luke Shaw’s £27m move to Old Trafford in the previous transfer window.

Canny Clyne famously snubbed former Red Devils boss Sir Alex Ferguson’s overtures in the past, in a bid to find a club where he could find regular game time and continue his development.

Now United, sans Sir Alex, could make another move to snare the Crystal Palace academy product in an attempt to provide stability and consistency to their side.

Current Red Devils first-choice right back Rafael may find himself the casualty of any move for Clyne, as his injury niggles have left him sat on the sidelines once again this season.

United have kept faith in the Brazilian wing back, but the 24-year-old could now follow in the footsteps of twin Fabio and head for the Old Trafford exit.

Clyne possesses the pace, technical ability and offensive threat to excel in Manchester and still has the potential to develop further under Van Gaal, who demands his defenders provide width and support in attack.

The 24-year-old has also caught the eye for his rocket of a right foot, and ability to play on both the right and left.

Versatile Clyne would certainly be a purchase made with long-term plans in mind, but United, 6/1 to win the FA Cup, will not necessarily have it all their own way.

Bitter northwest rivals Liverpool are also said to have Clyne on their radar, and with regular right back Glen Johnson not yet offered a new contract at Anfield, could try to scupper any Red Devils deal for the Southampton star.