In an interview he conducted with Sky Sports News on Thursday, Southampton defender Ryan Bertrand, rated at £18m by Transfermarkt, has hinted that the club’s late season turnaround could mean that he chooses to stay next season.
Well, Bertrand has been linked with moves to the likes of Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United in recent weeks, with his four-season spell with the south coast outfit looking set to end whichever division they found themselves in next term.
That may well have had something to do with disappointing campaigns under Claude Puel and Mauricio Pellegrino where Saints looked to be going backwards, but the revival under Mark Hughes in recent weeks could yet convince the stand-in captain to stay.
Speaking about their battle against the drop to Sky Sports News, Bertrand said: “It was kind of like a wake-up call that maybe we needed as a whole and hopefully we can analyse all of those things and hopefully move on again next season.”
Like many of his Southampton teammates, he hasn’t reached anywhere near the same level as he has in previous campaigns.
The 28-year-old hasn’t been as solid defensively or provided as much of an attacking threat as he has done before this term, although he has stood up and been counted in recent weeks having been given the captain’s armband in the absence of the injured Steven Davis.
The England international would have been furious with himself – as his own fans were with him on Twitter – at Goodison Park last weekend when his poor clearance eventually led to a last-gasp equaliser for Everton, but he bounced back well with a strong display in the crucial 1-0 win against Swansea City on Tuesday night.
Southampton will certainly hope so, and it may well depend on who their new manager is going to be, and the ambition that the club are ready to show in the transfer market.
His comments certainly suggest that he is already thinking about next season, but on the other hand if the south coast outfit do receive an acceptable offer for the 28-year-old from one of the top Premier League clubs, they may be unlikely to stand in the way of the left-back’s chance to play in the Champions League and compete for titles.