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Are United any closer to securing Luke Shaw

Manchester United have been linked with Southampton’s teenage left-back for months now and with the club putting in a bid for the 18-year-old just after their final match of the Barclays Premier League season, the saga seems to have dragged on a bit. There have been some significant reports over the last few days which seem to clear things up a little. Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino left his position leaving the club manager-less with the Argentine taking over the vacant post at Tottenham Hotspur. Sky Sports reported on Wednesday that Southampton were close to appointing a new manager, which is one of the important twists in this saga so far.

On the 2nd June, Southampton made statement about their current circumstances after it was announced that striker Ricky Lambert had left the club for Liverpool, the club said:

“Southampton Football Club can confirm that we have received multiple offers for some of our players in the past weeks.

“This is a confirmation of the depth of the development that is ongoing in our academy and of the present standing of our first team within the Premier League.

“We are staying true to our plan and vision and, as a result, we have no need to accept any offers. We are deep in the process of appointing a new manager who will continue to move our club forward. It remains our preference not to partake in any transfers until the new manager is in place.

“Our scouting and recruitment department continues to monitor targets we have identified to improve our squad, and the new manager will have final input into our recruitment process.”

It is understandable that the club would want a manager in place before anything else happens, as it would all look a bit of a farce from a business point of view. Southampton could effectively announce a new manager any day now, which would restore some faith with the clubs supporters, who could see an exodus of their best players leave the club this summer, albeit with some of the supporters in denial about it all. They have already seen Ricky Lambert leave and with Luke Shaw, Adam Lallana and Morgan Schneiderlin all linked with a move away from the club, among other players reported to be targets for other clubs, it is a pretty dire time for the south coast club.

There was a chance that Chelsea could swoop in for Shaw this summer, with him being a Chelsea supporter, some would suggest that he would pick his boyhood club over United, but reports in the Daily Star state that Chelsea have left the chase for the youngster turning their attention to Luis Felipe of Atlético Madrid, who Jose Mourinho sees as a better option now that the experiences Ashley Cole has left the club as a free agent this summer. This is good news for United as it effectively leave everything less complicated for them to secure Shaw, which if you believe many journalists, has been secured for some time now. Andy Mitten’s United We Stand fanzine reported in their summer special that barring any last minute hitches.

On Wednesday the Daily Mail reported that Shaw had in fact told his club that he favoured a move to United over any other club at the end of the season, which is pretty good news for the Old Trafford clubs supporters. The reported £27 million move was put on hold after Shaw was selected by Roy Hodgson to travel to Brazil for this summers FIFA World Cup, in which England have a pretty tough group to try and get out of. It is expected that the move for Shaw will be completed on his return from the tournament.

Patrice Evra signed a new one-year contract at United at the end of the season, something which was seen as United losing out on Shaw this summer, but it is expected that Evra will help Shaw settle into the club and effectively give him pointers and enable him to break through and become United’s left-back for at least the next decade, all being well. What it says for Alexander Büttner is another story though. Goal.com reported yesterday that United have offered Shaw £160,000 per week, which all seems a little far-fetched to me. I am sure the player could achieve that figure later in his career, but it could be close to the figure he will earn weekly if you add his weekly wage to any image rights and other advertising deals the player has or will have in place.

Right now it is looking pretty good for United to have their new first choice left-back in time for the new season, in which United face a battle to restore their top four status after a mediocre season under David Moyes. Here is to the future.

By Paul Bienkowski

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