Why Rafael’s days at Manchester United are numbered

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Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal will attempt to reunite Luke Shaw and Nathaniel Clyne by swooping for the Southampton and England youngster in January, according to reports.

The United boss has grown increasingly frustrated with the lack of form and fitness of Brazilian right back Rafael and is poised to make a £20m swoop once the transfer window re-opens.

Rafael’s persistent injuries have limited him to just six appearances this year and a lack of viable alternatives has seen Van Gaal deploy the likes of Ashley Young and Antonio Valencia at right back.

Southampton showed with their negotiations over Luke Shaw that they will not let their young stars go on the cheap and a fee in excess of £20m is expected to be demanded for Clyne, who has stood out as one of the top performers in Saints’ stunning start to the campaign.

Clyne has formed part of the meanest defence in the Premier League so far this season, with Southampton shipping just 10 goals in 14 games, and his performances have also led to a call up to the senior England side.

The 23-year-old also boasts an attacking threat and has chipped in with three goals for the Saints so far this term.

Van Gaal will witness first hand just how good Clyne can be as he takes his Red Devils side to St Mary’s on Monday, with United priced as 6/4 marginal favourites.

Southampton can be backed to secure all three points at 7/4, while the draw – a result seen in both of last season’s meetings – is priced up at 12/5.

Liverpool are also rumoured to be interested and will give United a run for their money as they bid to provide competition for Glen Johnson but with United looking more likely than the Merseysiders to secure a Champions league berth it could be destination Old Trafford for the Southampton man.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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