Luke Shaw has been linked away from St. Mary's following two very impressive seasons in the Premiership. At age 18, Shaw is already an extremely impressive left-back; he has been tipped as the natural successor to England international Ashley Cole.
The likes of Chelsea and Manchester United have been linked with the young defender for some time, and it appears City have now entered the race for Shaw and are ready to flex their financial might with a £30 million transfer offer to blow away competition and force Southampton into selling Shaw.
If the financial terms being reported are correct, the transfer of Shaw would break a previous transfer record for a full-back, previously the £29.5 million paid by Barcelona for Dani Alves in 2008.
A fee this large would be staggering for a player of Shaw's position. However, English players will always be bought and sold at a premium.
If Shaw was purchased this January, it would likely mean City would have to part with one of their two left-backs, Gael Clichy and Aleksandar Kolarov, with the latter being the seemingly obvious choice. Despite Kolarov's incredible play this season, he has been constantly linked with a move back to Italy in search of first-team football, including this report from the Mirror's Zarif Rasul. Kolarov has played a lot this season, and very well.
The other option is a buy-and-loan-back deal. Given Shaw's age, he too needs first-team football and probably isn't ready to be thrust into the pressures of competing for trophies. A deal that allows him to stay at Southampton for the rest of the season would probably be the best situation for all parties involved.
Shaw would get more experience at Southampton, while Kolarov and Clichy would remain platooning the left flank in what is a very important second half of the season in all competitions for Manchester City.
Luke Shaw would be an incredible buy and would likely be a mainstay in the starting XI for the next 10 years or more at the Etihad Stadium.