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LIVE: Clyne on Man United's radar

Transfer Talk

Louis van Gaal plans transfer swoop for Southampton's Nathaniel Clyne

ESPN FC's Tommy Smyth and Alexis Nunes talk Manchester United transfer rumors, namely Southampton's Nathaniel Clyne and whether or not the defender is a realistic target for the Red Devils.
The winter window is now open, and that means the LIVE transfer blog swings back into action. Find out the latest news, gossip and deals here.

TOP STORY: United closing on Clyne but waiting on Laporte?

Having decided one young Southampton full-back isn't quite enough, Louis van Gaal is intent on adding another to his ranks in the shape of Nathaniel Clyne.

Sources told ESPN FC last week that the 23-year-old right-back is a target for Manchester United, and the Daily Star reported an Old Trafford...

John Brewin profile picture  By John Brewin

How Southampton have managed to keep up with the Premier League's elite

ESPN FC's Paul Mariner predicts the Premier League top four, explaining Southampton are the real deal, while Manchester United will miss out.

When Manchester City took Southampton apart with a clinical 3-0 victory at St Mary's on Nov. 28, a "told you so" mob gathered. The romance could not last, these Saints could not keep marching on. The club's pluck was to be admired, but their lofty position in the top four was bound to be subsumed by Manchester United, Arsenal or Liverpool.

Further defeats to United, Arsenal and then (more worryingly) Burnley, plus Sheffield United in the League Cup, suggested just that. And yet Saturday's 2-1 win...

 By Chris Rann

Southampton surprise again as excellent week boosts top-four hopes

Eljero Elia bagged a brace to see Southampton fend of Newcastle 2-1 at St. James' Park.
Eljero Elia scored twice as Southampton beat Newcastle 2-1 on Saturday.

If Southampton can maintain their form and finish in the top four at the end of the season, they will look back on the past seven days as pivotal in that achievement. Saturday's 2-1 win at Newcastle made it three victories on the spin. Indeed, when the going gets tough, the tough get going, and on paper the last week looked almost an impossible job. It started with a trip to Old Trafford, a ground in which they hadn't won a league game since 1988, it then headed to Portman Road for an FA Cup replay...

 By Chris Rann

Southampton out to end Newcastle hoodoo

Southampton manager Ronald Koeman looked ahead to Saturday's trip to Newcastle United in the English Premier League after his side beat Ipswich in the FA Cup.

Southampton complete their week of long trips with the longest of the lot on Saturday as they head to manager-less Newcastle United.

With an historic victory over Manchester United and a FA Cup banana skin avoided in Ipswich, both with scorelines of 1-0, can they make it hat trick on the road at St. James' Park?

With the hosts having won only one game in eight, Southampton have every chance, but the current run of fixtures and consistent use of the same players may be starting to take its toll...

 By Rory Smith

Ronald Koeman is a success, but there's more to Southampton's rise

The ESPN FC crew all share their views as to what elements make a good manager, and Craig Burley explains it is far more important to be a better man-manager, than it is to be a coach.
ESPN FC's Paul Mariner and Ross Dyer break down Southampton's first win at Old Trafford in 27 years, which sees them leapfrog Manchester United for third place.
Southampton manager Ronald Koeman believes his side's stingy defense will see them continue to have success.

As an introduction, it was perfect. Back in July, Ronald Koeman was only a month or so into his three-year contract as Southampton manager, but it must have felt like a lifetime.

He had already had to watch, powerless, as a host of the club's crown jewels were plucked from his grasp: he knew Luke Shaw, Rickie Lambert and Adam Lallana were going; the departures of Dejan Lovren and Calum Chambers came as more of a surprise.

All around him, the doom-mongers were gathering, predicting cruel reality had...

 By Chris Rann

Big-club mentality pays off for Southampton

Southampton manager Ronald Koeman believes his side's stingy defense will see them continue to have success.

Well, that has been a long time coming! Saints' 1-0 victory over Manchester United on Sunday was their first at Old Trafford since 1992, their first in the league since 1988 and their first of the Premier League era. And what a victory it was.

I spoke in my preview about the need to think as a top-four side, and that it would be essential to take a chance if presented with one. In the reverse fixture at St Mary's, Southampton had been the better side but were undone by their lack of ruthlessness...