Two weeks into the January transfer window and Southampton’s happy camp, arguably the most pleasing surprise the Premier League has seen over the 12 months, finds itself in turmoil after chairman Nicola Cortese resigned.
With many of their players attracting interest from other Premier League clubs even before the latest developments, the Saints could now be forced to part ways with many of their prized assets.
Shaw, Lallana & Co. aren’t short of suitors but which clubs could benefit from a mass exodus from St Mary’s?
Luke Shaw, arguably Saints’ most coveted player is a life-long Chelsea fan and the Blues have monitored the 18-year-old for a while, with Jose Mourinho looking to plan for life after Ashley Cole.
The Portuguese manager has chosen Cesar Azpilicueta ahead of the England international, but the former Marseille man is a right-back by trade and while Cole’s qualities remain undisputed, Shaw can be considered his natural heir.
Furthermore, Chelsea could insert Ryan Bertrand as make-weight in a deal for the Southampton full-back.
2) Manchester City
If there’s one area of the pitch in which Manuel Pellegrini’s juggernaut could so with some strengthening is the left-back slot, where neither Gael Clichy nor Aleksander Kolarov have always convinced.
Shaw’s £20m price-tag wouldn’t be a problem for City, with the 2012 Premier League champions rumoured to be considering a £30m bid for the Southampton man as little as two days ago.
Much like Chelsea, City would have a plethora of players to choose from were they interested to explore the cash + player swap route.
3) West Ham
The Hammers welcomed back Andy Carroll last week, while Carlton Cole saw his recent goalscoring form rewarded with a new 18-month contract but Sam Allardyce remains keen to bolster his attacking options.
Southampton have reportedly accepted a £7m bid from West Ham for Rickie Lambert and while a move to Upton Park would represent a step down compared to what the England striker has experienced over the last two seasons, he would be a major coup for the Hammers.
Lambert has scored 46 league goals over the last two seasons and while the 31-year-old is still to agree personal terms with West Ham, his time on the South Coast seems to approaching the end.
4) Manchester United
Like Chelsea and Manchester City, United have also kept an eye on Luke Shaw for a while, with David Moyes aware of the need of replacing Patrice Evra with a younger left-back.
However, while Shaw fits the bill, United are the unlikeliest destination for they neither have the pull that Chelsea have on the 18-year-old, nor do can they compete financially with City, not to mention that they look a infinitely less appealing destination now than they did a year ago.
United, however, were recently linked with a rather surprising move for Adam Lallana and with David Moyes desperate to strengthen his midfield options, Morgan Schneiderlin and James Ward-Prowse could end on United’s radar too.
Lallana, Schneiderlin and Ward-Prowse might not be the world class players United fans have been dreaming about but have shown quality in spades over the last two seasons, are young and would be relatively easy to sign.