RYAN BERTRAND is set to quit Southampton in the summer – whether they stay up or not – sparking a £25million scramble for his signature.
The England left-back, 28, was the subject of interest from Manchester City last summer.
But the Saints told him they would not let him leave as they could not afford to lose him and Virgil van Dijk in the same season.
Van Dijk later joined Liverpool for £75m in January – now Bertrand is likely to follow him out of the door of St Mary’s as the next big-name star to depart the South Coast club.
City’s interest in Bertrand has waned but there are several more Premier League rivals interested in signing him.
Manchester United have him on their list of alternatives if their planned summer swoop for Tottenham’s Danny Rose does not materialise.
If Spurs do sell £50m-rated Rose then they could turn to Bertrand as a replacement.
Newcastle and Everton are also believed to be keen on Bertrand, who was in Chelsea’s Champions League winning side of 2012 before Southampton made his loan permanent in February 2015 when they signed him for £10m.
He signed a new £80,000-a-week, five-year deal with the Saints in 2016.
But sources close to the player have told SunSport that while he will continue to give his all in the club’s relegation fight he is likely to want to seek a fresh challenge when this campaign is over.
The Saints edged closer towards relegation after suffering a 3-2 defeat to Arsenal on Sunday.
Mark Hughes will now be hoping that his side can bounce back as they prepare to welcome Chelsea to St Mary’s on Saturday.