Newcastle United are looking to bolster the squad in the upcoming transfer window and Southampton’s Ryan Bertrand seems to be on their shortlist. The 28-year-old has been linked with a number of Premier League outfits due to his present club’s conundrum in the English top-flight.
The Saints have spent almost entire 2017/18 campaign clawing their nails into the league safety line while hanging from the relegation cliffs. Last night finally gave the fans at some hope after relegation-rivals, Swansea City accepted a 0-1 defeat at their hands at the Liberty Stadium.
Manolo Gabbiadini managed to pick up the rebound in the Swans box to score the crucial match-winning goal and send his team 3 points clear of the bottom three.
Even if Mark Hughes’ side manages to save themselves from the unwanted drop, Bertrand’s future remains a concern. The England international has expressed interest in leaving the Hampshire-based club even if Premier League football is guaranteed next season (to be fair Premier League football looks guaranteed for Southampton barring an amazing turnaround on the final day of the season).
Bertrand’s contract with the Saints is set to run for another 3 seasons but his intention to leave might be enough to warrant a transfer out of the club. The left-back is one of the high profile names among the Southampton ranks and is being sought out by plenty.
Selling him will give the Saints a significant financial leverage, almost of £25m worth, to re-invest into younger replacements. The fee, on the other hand, can prove to be a massive stumbling block for Rafael Benitez and his Newcastle side. The Magpies are not exactly known, in the current scenario, to be spendthrifts.
Their owner, Mike Ashley has acted quite hesitantly in providing the Spanish manager with the right funds to chase those high-profile names. Instead, Benitez has had to work with just three loan signings from the January market to miraculously elevate the team to the top half of the league table.
Ryan Bertrand could turn out to be that major difference maker in solidifying the defensive setup Benitez has in place at St James’. The 28-year-old is a proven talent in the Premier League and has been capped 19 times for the England national team.
Gareth Southgate has fielded him in almost every single one of the international games going into the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The Chelsea academy graduate could team up with Florian Lejeune and Jamaal Lascelles at the back to drive the Tyneside club back into their days of Premier League glory.