Man Utd outcast gets Southampton escape route as pre-cursor to three-way Walker-Peters battle
A Man Utd full-back may have an escape route to Southampton in a move that could lay the foundations for a heavyweight battle to sign Kyle Walker-Peters, per a report.
The Saints had been linked with a late move for ex-Liverpool right-back, Neco Williams. However, Nottingham Forest resisted competition for the Welshman and wrapped up a £17m transfer earlier today (Monday).
But according to the Athletic, Southampton aren’t content to let that be the final chapter of their search for full-back depth.
The outlet state a new full-back is wanted and have detailed who is coming under consideration.
Following on from their Williams disappointment, the Saints have drafted a three-man shortlist of viable alternatives, including Man Utd’s Brandon Williams.
The 21-year-old spent last season on loan with Norwich, though their relegation ensured the move had no chance of being turned permanent.
Williams is back at Old Trafford, though has repeatedly been named as someone who is up for sale this summer by various publications.
No place for Brandon Williams
The Englishman operates primarily at left-back. However, Tyrell Malacia has been added in a position that also counts Luke Shaw and Alex Telles among its ranks.
Feyenoord’s Marcus Pedersen and Man City starlet, Issa Kabore, round out Southampton’s list. However, the Athletic add a move for any of the three isn’t likely to come until closer to opening day.
Southampton travel to Austria for their pre-season training camp on Wednesday. A move for a new full-back is reportedly unlikely until they return.
Walker-Peters on heavyweight trio’s radar
Should Southampton add to their full-back ranks, the report adds it could spell the beginning of the end for Kyle Walker-Peters at St. Mary’s.
The 25-year-old was outstanding last year and was duly rewarded with his first senior England caps in March.
Southampton have no intention of cashing in just yet and his current contract runs until 2025. However, it’s noted there has been no progress in relation to an extension and Walker-Peters has high profile suitors.
Both Man Utd and Arsenal are reported to have earmarked him for a potential future transfer if buying a new right-back.
Former club Tottenham may be best-placed, however, after reportedly inserting a £30m buy-back clause during his sale in 2020.
Williams time is up
The full-back is only 21, though may feel the time is right to follow in the footsteps of namesake Neco.
Neco’s chances of ever usurping Trent Alexander-Arnold at Anfield were virtually nil. While Brandon does not have a player of that calibre in front of him at Old Trafford, his chances of regular game-time look equally bleak.
Southampton have proven themselves to be a fine landing spot for developing stars.
Walker-Peters and Tino Livramento are proof squad players from a top six side can thrive when moving down the league.
What’s more, the Saints’ only recognised left-back at present is Romain Perraud. Mohamed Salisu can deputise when required, though is a centre-back by trade.
A move to the south coast – if Southampton firm up their interest – should benefit all involved.