Manchester United and Liverpool eyes Southampton defender Nathaniel Clyne

Liverpool and Manchester United are ready to step up their interest in Southampton defender Nathaniel Clyne.

Clyne's current deal expires at the end of next season and the Saints are increasingly worried about their ability to hold onto the England international.

Reports suggest that United and Liverpool could make a move for Clyne as early as January, although a summer move appears more likely.

United's defensive problems are well-documented, while Liverpool are likely to be in the market as they look to replace Glen Johnson, who has not been offered a new deal at Anfield.

Southampton remain keen to tie Clyne to a new deal but fear the former Crystal Palace man could follow in the footsteps of Calum Chambers, Luke Shaw, Adam Lallana by leaving St Mary's for a bigger club.

Indeed, a club source told Goal: "There is a real worry at the club about Nathaniel; some very big clubs are circling."

It now remains to be seen whether United or Liverpool are able to persuade Southampton to sell one of their best performers in January or whether the south coast club will have to brace themselves for a fresh assault in the summer.

Credit: Ben Jefferson/Express