Manchester United are preparing an ambitious £50 million bid for Southampton stars Adam Lallana and Luke Shaw, according to reports.
Warren Haughton of talkSPORT suggests David Moyes is ready to spend massively on English talent, outlining the Saints duo as his primary targets as we approach a busy summer for the fallen champions:
Manchester United are lining up a sensational £50million double swoop on Southampton for their star duo Adam Lallana and Luke Shaw.
[...] Chelsea are also keen on Shaw, a lifelong Blues fan, but talkSPORT understands United have moved into pole position to secure the 18-year-old full-back's signature.
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Both players have proven their Premier League quality over the past two seasons and continue to improve under the tutelage of Mauricio Pochettino. Roy Hodgson has rewarded their displays with recognition in the national team, suggesting Lallana and Shaw—who are 25 and 18 respectively—have the staying power to remain at the top.
Southampton's recently released financial results highlighted the club still owe £27 million in unpaid transfer fees. While the club confirmed they don't need to offload players in order to pay, reported by The Times (subscription required), a couple of major sales would allow Pochettino the chance to improve his squad without risking financial insecurity.
Director Hans Hofstetter confirmed outgoings aren't necessary, per Adrian Kajumba of the Daily Star:
The most important point is that we are in a position where we do not need to sell any player Mauricio wants to keep. We have a very strong squad and we are still in a situation where we are free enough to act quickly if quick action is asked from us.
Chelsea, Tottenham and Liverpool are also expected to join the race for Lallana, as reported by Wayne Veysey of Goal.com, who says the player is being "closely monitored" by many of the Premier League's top teams. Blessed with technical grace and skill that is often missing in English stars, Lallana would be a smart investment for Moyes—especially considering his ability to play from the wings or in the centre.
While Jose Mourinho's Blues were thought to be leading the race for Shaw, United's links appear to be getting stronger. The young left-back could be the natural successor to either Ashley Cole or Patrice Evra, both of whom have suffered disappointing seasons.
Despite Shaw supporting Chelsea throughout his life, Alex Shaw of the Sunday People highlights why this doesn't guarantee a move to Stamford Bridge:
Luke Shaw's a Chelsea fan. Terry once supported MUFC. It doesn't matter who you support really. It depends on who pays you well.— Alex Shaw (@PeopleSportShaw) March 29, 2014
Many United fans appeared excited at the player's recent activity on Twitter, in which he appeared to celebrate Nemanja Vidic's goal during the 1-1 Champions League draw with Bayern Munich:
What a half that was 👏— Luke Shaw (@LukeShaw3) April 1, 2014
Wha a header 👏👏👏👏— Luke Shaw (@LukeShaw3) April 1, 2014
Shaw flaunts boundless energy and ambition down the left side. He is already a physical player, someone who isn't afraid to tackle wholeheartedly, and possesses sharp passing skills. The starlet is also a useful dribbler and has the natural confidence to challenge the best. United certainly need to replace an uninterested Evra and provide added competition for Alexander Buttner.
Both Lallana and Shaw would improve United's chances of making next year's top four. They play the type of exciting football the club is famous for and are in keeping with the batch of Englishmen traditionally used at Old Trafford.
Southampton can expect plenty of interest when the transfer window opens. Moyes needs to act decisively if he is to capture either individual before another team swoop in, and would be wise to confirm either deal before the World Cup.