Southampton must try to sign Juan Mata once Man United seal Xherdan Shaqiri deal

According to reports in The Sun, Manchester United are considering making a summer move for Stoke City attacker Xherdan Shaqiri, and their Premier League rivals Southampton should be watching developments closely.

What’s the word, then?

Xherdan Shaqiri scores against Serbia

Well, The Sun says that Red Devils boss Jose Mourinho is considering making a move for the Switzerland international after he indicated he would be keen on a move, and he could certainly prove to be a bargain buy for them – or someone else – this summer.

The Sun report that the 26-year-old has a release clause of £12m in his contract following the Potters’ relegation to the Championship, and Mourinho is reported to have been impressed by the forward having watched him in action in Russia.

If Shaqiri did arrive at Old Trafford, he would likely be competing with the likes of Jesse Lingard and Juan Mata for a spot in the starting XI on the right-hand side – a position he usually plays for club and country.

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Why should Southampton be monitoring the situation?

Well, should United bring Shaqiri in it would surely raise question marks over the future of Mata, who was a regular but in and out of the starting XI under Mourinho last term.

The Spaniard would likely fall further down the pecking order should the Stoke man arrive at Old Trafford, and he could be tempted by a move away in search of regular first-team football.

While Saints, whose £22.5m-rated transfer target would be a huge upgrade on Dusan Tadic, may have added Mohamed Elyounoussi to their squad, it is unclear whether he is a direct replacement for Tadic or not following his departure to Ajax, and a star that plays through the middle like Mata could be a better option.

It would be ambitious considering he has scored 47 goals and provided a further 56 assists in 221 Premier League matches, but he could make a huge difference to a Southampton team that only netted 37 times in the top flight last term.