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ESPN FC  By ESPN

Southampton's Nathaniel Clyne wants Champions League football

Southampton right-back Nathaniel Clyne has welcomed reports of interest from the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea and told The Times: "I see myself hopefully playing in the Champions League and competing for titles and trophies."

Clyne, 24, has been linked with a host of top clubs after a season in which he has broken into the English national team and formed a key part of the Premier League's best defence.

His current contract has little over a year to run and sources recently told ESPN FC that he would not enter talks over an extension until the end of the season.

Southampton's prospects of qualifying for the Champions League have faded after some mixed results over the last two months, and they are now five points behind fourth-placed Manchester City with six games of the season remaining.

Asked about the speculation over his future, Clyne told Sky Sports News: "It's always good to have teams looking out for you -- it shows how well you've been doing all season.

"I am going to take that, and keep on performing and be the best player I can be."

He added in The Times: "I see myself hopefully playing in the Champions League and competing for titles and trophies. That's what I'm aiming for. That's what you play football for, that's the dream. I would say that's the next step in my progression."

He said he is holding out hope that Southampton, whom he joined from Crystal Palace in 2012, can still qualify for the Champions League.

"We're doing well with Southampton," he said. "Hopefully we can get there. If we keep on winning and one or two teams slip up, we can force our way into that top four."

Despite his successes this season, Clyne was left out of the Saints side that beat Hull 2-0 at the weekend.

He told the Daily Telegraph: "It was a bit of a shock but there are a lot of players fighting for positions and when you are not in the team you just have to keep fighting to get back in."

He added: "Right now I'm just focused on playing for Southampton. There are still lots of points to play for."

Southampton, whose success this season has come in spite of losing the likes of Adam Lallana and Dejan Lovren last summer, also face a battle to retain players including Morgan Schneiderlin and Toby Alderweireld at the end of the current campaign.

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