Southampton defender Ryan Bertrand has emerged as a transfer target for Atletico Madrid and Inter Milan, according to reports in the Daily Mail.
The outlet suggests the left-back would be allowed to leave as he only has two years remaining on his contract.
Atletico boss, Diego Simeone is looking for a new player in that position after selling Lucas Hernandez to Bayern Munich. Bertrand has also become a target for Inter’s new manager Antonio Conte, with the Italian looking to recruit from leagues he is familiar with.
The report suggests Southampton are ready to promote Matt Targett and make him the first-choice left-back at St Mary’s. Targett has been the subject of transfer speculation himself, with Sky Sports reporting Fulham were interested in signing the 23-year-old.
The Englishman did have a loan spell at Craven Cottage in the season they were promoted to the Premier League.
Targett is a product of the Southampton academy and joins Wayne Bridge, Francis Benali, Luke Shaw and Gareth Bale, all of who went through the system at Saints and played in the left-back position. Southampton are ready to allow Bertrand to leave, according to the Daily Mail, and it may not be such a bad time to do so.
Bertrand is six years older than his counterpart and the position can be difficult to keep performing well in once a player is getting to a stage their pace starts declining.
Pep Guardiola recognised that once he got to Manchester City and replaced the players at right and left-back. And when viewing last season’s stats between Targett and Bertrand the results were interesting.
WhoScored.com details Targett scored once and provided three assists, and although Bertrand also grabbed one goal he provided no assists. Bertrand did have a higher pass success percentage, it was Targett that came out with a higher rating overall, with a score of 6.89 compared to 6.61 given to Bertrand.
The numbers indicate that if Southampton do sell Bertrand, they could now have the better player of the two remaining at the club.