Southampton look to have been handed a big transfer blow, with the Manchester Evening News reporting Brandon Williams is set to stay with Manchester United this month.
The full-back has been heavily linked with a loan move to Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side throughout the window, as the Austrian looks to add some depth in his defence.
In the absence of Kyle Walker-Peters and Ryan Bertrand against Arsenal in midweek, the Saints struggled to match their usual standards, and Hasenhuttl’s decision to move defensive-midfielder Ibrahima Diallo to left-back highlighted their lack of options in that position.
Therefore, it had seemed as if Williams joining on loan from the Red Devils, where he has barely featured this season following their signing of Alex Telles, would be a good deal for both parties to complete.
However, the Manchester Evening News have reported that Southampton’s deal for the 20-year-old is now dead in the water, as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is keen to keep the academy talent as cover following Timothy Fosu-Mensah’s permanent move to Bayer Leverkusen earlier this month.
With Jake Vokins joining League One Sunderland on loan, this leaves Hasenhuttl with a real lack of options, particularly at left-back, so it is undoubtedly a blow that they now look set to miss out on Williams.
During his time at United the academy graduate, who reportedly earns £65k per week, has made 42 appearances for the senior side, contributing one goal and three assists, so he is not short of experience.
He has also featured in the Champions League and Europa League, so would’ve been good competition for Ryan Bertrand at left-back, whilst also perhaps being a better back-up option than Yan Valery for Walker-Peters at right-back, having played there on a number of occasions in his career thus far.
It seems as if Southampton will have to look elsewhere if they want to strengthen at full-back before the window shuts, but this looks to be a real blow to Hasenhuttl and his hopes of securing European football at St Mary’s next season, when you consider how much his side struggled without first-team full-backs against Arsenal recently.