Man Utd may loan defender to rival after OGS ‘blocked’ move
Southampton will target Manchester United defender Brandon Williams for a loan move in January.
Williams impressed at Old Trafford in the latter half of the 2019/20 season, earning rave reviews from Sir Alex Ferguson and Gary Neville for his performances.
The 20-year-old was thought to be in line for a new contract to recognise his status as a first-team option, starting in wins over Chelsea, Manchester City and Leicester from February onwards.
But his only appearances of the campaign so far have come in the League Cup, Williams starting twice at left-back against Luton and Brighton but not getting past the bench in the Premier and Champions League.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer named Williams in July as one player who “deserved” to play more often but Alex Telles was selected against West Brom in the injury-enforced absence of Luke Shaw.
The Athletic claim that Southampton and other potential suitors will continue to monitor the situation ahead of a possible move in January if Williams continues to wait patiently for his chance behind Telles.
Saints ‘are one of several clubs’ interested in the player, who ‘was open’ to joining them on loan in the summer before Solskjaer ‘blocked’ the deal.
Ralph Hasenhuttl sees ‘the dynamic youngster as a versatile defender who can play on the right or left,’ thus providing competition to both Kyle Walker-Peters and Ryan Bertrand simultaneously.
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The situation has been compared to that faced by Sergio Romero at the end of the most recent transfer window. Everton had an approach for the keeper rejected by Manchester United ‘partly’ because the Toffees were considered to be direct competition.
Southampton, currently fifth in the Premier League table after an excellent start to the season, might only be able to negotiate a loan if they drop off as Manchester United ‘have been reluctant to strengthen rivals’.