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Manchester United turning transfer attention to Southampton defender Nathaniel Clyne

Southampton v Sunderland - Premier League

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 18: Nathaniel Clyne of Southampton in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Southampton and Sunderland at St Mary’s Stadium on October 18, 2014 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images)

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Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal has played down a great deal of transfer speculation from the media lately, but sources have told ESPN FC that the Premier League club wants to make at least two transfers before the January window closes.

Southampton right back Nathaniel Clyne falls into their scope.

Targeting Clyne has made sense to United after Roma president James Pallotta put a hefty price tag on his talented midfielder Kevin Strootman.

Clyne, 23, has made 19 appearances for Southampton this season and has scored two goals, whilst helping to anchor one of the PL’s strongest defenses.

Per the above ESPN FC report, speaking of Clyne and his possible move to United:

Clyne is a long-term Old Trafford target, and all indications from Southampton are that he will leave in the summer. United’s determination to ensure they finish in the top four, however, has meant they will attempt to negotiate with the high-flying south-coast club this January.

Van Gaal had privately been adamant that they should try and get Strootman this window, but Roma have been completely unwilling to sell now, and the Dutch coach is accepting they will have to wait until the summer for a deal that could cost up to 40 million pounds.

However, Van Gaal may have a fair amount of money available to them, up to $227.31 million (£150 million) to also spend on Strootman and Borussia Dortmund defender Mats Hummels, according to The Daily Star excerpt below.
According to reports, the former Bayern Munich boss has a transfer kitty of £150m to spend this month, and is planning to use the funds to sign three new players.Several sources have suggested the Dutchman will use his warchest to sign Borussia Dortmund’s Mats Hummels, Roma midfielder Kevin Strootman, and Southampton defender Nathaniel Clyne.

Unless a bad run of form forces serious expenditure, it’s likely that Manchester United will not acquire three men, rather one or two signings to supplement their already solid position at fourth place in the league standings.

Similar to United incumbent Luke Shaw, Clyne brings an extreme pace to the pitch that allows successful overlaps, and he would fit Van Gaal’s mold of defensive back.

Despite not being in the best of form as Dortmund has struggled mightily in the German Bundesliga, Hummels could bring more solidarity to the Red Devils’ back line, and at this point in time, Strootman’s holding abilities could be of positive use alongside Michael Carrick.