Southampton are ready to turn down Manchester United's £34 million offer for Luke Shaw's signature, with reports suggesting the Saints are holding out for a larger fee.
Shaw would become the most expensive teenage transfer in history if the move were to go through, but that proposition won't make Southampton budge, and the Daily Mail's Ralph Ellis claims Shaw's price tag has risen to £40 million.
The front page of Tuesday's Mirror, per the BBC's Nick Sutton, confirms the Red Devils' latest offer, with Shaw poised to make his England World Cup debut against Costa Rica on Tuesday evening:
Newly appointed manager Ronald Koeman faces a struggle in hanging onto Southampton's top talents, with Rickie Lambert having already sealed a £4 million switch to Liverpool.
However, the Dutch successor to Mauricio Pochettino's throne has a vision for his Southampton project and, upon his appointment, told the club's official website of his ambition to build on strong foundations:
From my very first meeting with [executive director] Les Reed, I could see clearly that this was the right club for me. We share the same philosophy of football, and the same belief in how to develop the club.
Southampton have a talented first-team squad, a world-class academy and the infrastructure to sustain success in the Premier League. The opportunity to continue the development of this famous football club was simply too good to turn down. I cannot wait to get started.
Shaw enjoyed a hugely impressive 2013-14 campaign in the Premier League and stood as one of Europe's most impressive young full-backs.
Squawka showed us back in May just how the 18-year-old sized up against his competition for a place in Roy Hodgson's squad:
Louis van Gaal no longer has an immediate dilemma at left-back after Patrice Evra agreed a one-year contract extension at Old Trafford, but planning for the long term will very much be among the Dutchman's priorities in a position of such significance.
The Mirror's David Maddock has reported that Netherlands international Daley Blind could be an alternative target for United, a sensible option given his past under Van Gaal's tutelage and with Ajax in the Eredivisie.
Blind would also cost a lot less than Shaw, as Southampton's valuation continues to act as the major obstacle to a deal. Dominic Raynor of BBC Sport and B/R voices his concern with Shaw's massive price tag:
These are big expectations for Shaw to live up to, and even if Southampton did agree to a sale, there's no guarantee the aspiring England man will prove to be good value for the fee.
That being said, the defender would certainly seem a priority for the Red Devils, to the point where they are willing to pay up a record-beating fee for his services.
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