Saints pondering Kieran Trippier capture to replace Nathaniel Clyne
Southampton coach Ronald Koeman (14/1 to achieve a top four finish) is said to be scouring the transfer market ahead of a summer recruitment drive, with Burnley full back Kirean Trippier believed to be a top transfer target.
Any approach would depend on the future of current right back role incumbent Nathaniel Clyne, who can expect to surpass 100 appearances across all competitions for the Saints this season.
The flying full back’s contract expires in 2016, after three fine seasons of service, meaning the south coast club will have to decide whether to auction off the four-capped England international.
Crystal Palace academy product Clyne’s consistency appears to have peaked the interest of north west rivals Manchester United and Liverpool in particular, who are both looking for long-term buys to secure their right back berths.
Chelsea are the latest party said to be tracking the Saints’ rearguard talent, with Branislav Ivanovic yet to agree a new deal at Stamford Bridge, and could crash the party. Any interest from the Blues could really throw a cat among the pigeons, as Clyne is supposedly a boyhood fan.
Trippier, meanwhile, has followed a similar career path to compatriot Clyne and, should the Clarets succumb to the Premier League trap door, could prove a value purchase in summer.
The same age as Clyne, Bury-born Trippier began his footballing education at Manchester City, but failed to make the grade, or a single senior side outing.
After finding a stage to showcase on with minnows Barnsley, before flourishing at Turf Moor, where he racked up 12 Championship assists last campaign, Trippier has taken a slower track to the top tier.
Less of a goal threat than Clyne, who can certainly hit them sweetly with his peach of a right peg, 24-year-old Trippier has proven more of a provider, with five assists this season, which could appeal to Koeman’s focus on teamwork.
Trippier certainly has that in spades, and spoke recently of the spirit surrounding Turf Moor as Burnley battle the drop, stating: “All the money spent by teams in the league speaks for itself. We’ve not spent much money but the best thing we’ve got is a team spirit where everyone believes in each other and that’s better than buying players.”
The Clarets’ rearguard star does not have the luxury of being part of one of the Premier League’s sternest defences, but has still managed to shine at the struggling Lancashire club, who are 11/2 to finish bottom of the Premier League pile.
Clyne may be biding his time to see how strongly the St Mary’s side end their campaign, but time waits for no man, and Dutch mastermind Koeman already seems to have rearguard replacements in mind.