David Moyes is courting Southampton’s highly-rated full back Luke Shaw and could make him his first signing as Manchester United manager.
Moyes scouted the 17-year-old last season while manager of Everton, hoping to draft him in as Leighton Baines’ successor and now, with a substantially increased war chest, the Scot is ready to test Saints’ resolve with a concrete offer this summer.
Left back is an area where the Red Devils are looking to strengthen, with Baines reportedly a long-time target of the club.
However, as part of Moyes’ exit, it is believed he’s agreed not to raid his old side for Baines or fellow star man Marouane Fellaini, therefore a move for Shaw could be on the cards.
Patrice Evra has proved once again this season that he’s as good as any left back in the business, but as age creeps up on the Frenchman, a heir to the throne is required. Alexander Buttner was acquired for this purpose, but Sir Alex Ferguson’s sparing usage of the Dutchman last term suggests he isn’t quite up to the high standard demanded at Old Trafford.
However, if Moyes is serious about his intentions to sign the England under-21 ace, he will have to fend off interest from Chelsea.
Like United, the Blues are seeking a successor to their left back-in-chief Ashley Cole and hold an advantage over the Premier League champions as they happen to be the club Shaw supports.
Much will depend on the player himself though, as neither of these sides are likely to allow him much playing time next season, whereas he’ll be a regular at St Mary’s. For all the improved quality of training and facilities these top teams offer, his best chance of fulfilling his potential is through playing frequently at the highest level possible.
He may be more inclined to make the switch if a deal is brokered in a similar vein to the one that saw Wilfried Zaha sign for Man United in January to be immediately loaned back to Crystal Palace for the remainder of the season.
It’s understood he chose to stay at Southampton on playing time grounds when subject to interest from Arsenal, Chelsea and Everton last term and could well opt to do the same again this summer to help his team beat the drop once more.
As it stands, his current club are priced at 5/1 to be relegated from the top flight next season.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date