Southampton fighting to stop Liverpool snatching another star
Premier League high-flyers Southampton (9/4 for a top four finish this term) are hoping to persuade their star right back Nathaniel Clyne to sign a new contract, with his current deal set to expire in 2016.
Liverpool (also 9/4 in the same market) are reportedly keeping an eye on the new England international, as they seek a possible replacement for Glen Johnson, who will be available for free this summer.
Clyne has never commanded a transfer fee in his career, having let his contract run out at former club Crystal Palace before joining Southampton, and Ronald Koeman will be hoping that won’t be the case again.
Even if Liverpool come calling this summer, they would be able to sign Clyne for a reduced price, so that is why the Saints hope to extent his deal to avoid that risk.
It would certainly not be the first time the Reds have raided St Mary’s, with three of their stars joining the Anfield outfit this season for a combined total of almost £50m.
Adam Lallana, Dejan Lovren and Rickie Lambert all made the trip north, but they have all arguably yet to impress and match their performances of last season in Southampton colours.
The Saints were expected to struggle following their exodus (Calum Chambers and Luke Shaw also left), but instead find themselves way up in second place and 11 points ahead of Liverpool after as many games.
So, if Southampton were to end up in a Champions League spot, at the expense of the Reds, would Clyne want to move after all, even if it were to mean he could get a higher wage packet?
Despite Arsenal signing teenager Chambers, seemingly ahead of Clyne, the latter has thrived in his absence, and earned himself two England caps as a result.
The 23-year-old was left on the bench for previous Euro 2016 qualifiers against San Marino and Estonia, but played the full 90 minutes against Slovenia, and then the Auld Enemy ‘friendly’ with Scotland. Clyne impressed in both, as he helped the Three Lions to consecutive 3-1 victories.
England are now terrific 7/2 chances to win their remaining Group E games, which will see them top the pool and qualify for the France finals.