According to reports in the Daily Mail, Southampton left-back Ryan Bertrand could follow Virgil van Dijk through the St Mary’s exit door during the January transfer window with Manchester City considering making a move for the England international.
Well, Saints finally sold defender Virgil van Dijk to Liverpool in a £75m deal on Wednesday to end the long-running saga, and Bertrand may be the next player to leave the south coast outfit.
The Daily Mail says that the 28-year-old is on a five-man shortlist of players that Citizens boss Pep Guardiola is targeting next month, along with West Bromwich Albion’s Jonny Evans, Real Sociedad’s Inigo Martinez, Espanyol’s Aaron Martin and Augsburg’s Philipp Max.
The Daily Mail says that Bertrand has remained on Guardiola’s radar after the runaway Premier League leaders originally enquired about his potential availability during the summer, and the Spaniard could try again in the New Year with Benjamin Mendy set to be sidelined for the majority of the season through injury.
The 28-year-old had played every minute of Southampton’s Premier League campaign before the previous two matches against Huddersfield Town and Tottenham Hotspur, which he missed with a hamstring problem he picked up in the 1-0 defeat against Chelsea earlier this month.
While the England international wasn’t at his best earlier in the season, he had impressed more in recent weeks and picked up three assists in the 4-1 win against Everton and 4-1 defeat against Leicester City at St Mary’s, as well as picking up the man of the match award in the 1-1 draw against Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium.
He certainly would be.
Much of the Saints’ attacking success in recent seasons has come because of the width and extra attacking outlet that their full-backs provide, and Bertrand has established himself as one of the best in his position in the Premier League – hence why he is wanted by Man City.
That said, the south coast outfit do have academy graduates Matt Targett and Sam McQueen that are able to play at left-back, and if they can get a big fee for the 28-year-old in January they may be tempted to cash in.