According to a report from ESPN FC’s Miguel Delaney, Manchester United is fighting a race against time to sign Southampton’s Nathaniel Clyne with Chelsea looming, and they may be looking to sweeten the deal.
Delaney reports that Louis van Gaal and Manchester United brass have agreed to offer Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez as part of the deal, a prospect which would likely be mouth-watering for Southampton.
Losing Clyne would be a blow, but the club has proven this year they can sustain major losses and not miss a beat. Adding Chicharito would seriously bolster an attack squad that has gone somewhat silent of late. The club has scored just 13 goals over its last 14 league games, leading to their failure to maintain a top four spot. Striker Graziano Pelle, who bombarded the Premier League early in the season, broke a 1,189-minute scoreless drought last week that spanned 14 games.
There is little for Southampton to fall back on behind the Italian, with just Shane Long there in support, and often the two start games together in the starting lineup. Pelle’s nine goals lead the club, with just one other player – Saido Mane on six goals – owning more than four.
The deal makes sense for Chicharito and Manchester United as well. On loan at Real Madrid this season, the Mexican striker has barely seen the field, and unable to break into a regular spot at Old Trafford or the Bernabeu, Southampton could be the ideal landing point. It would mean he would still have a significant shot to challenge for European play next season, while still being one of the team’s feature players.
For the Red Devils, right-back is a position of need, as is defense in general. Louis van Gaal has stuck winger Antonio Valencia at right-back of late, and while the Ecuadorian has played well, it’s still a position of concern.
Delaney’s report says Clyne has turned down multiple contract extensions this season, likely forcing their hand. His current deal expires in 2016.