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Liverpool FC Transfer Rumours: Manchester United Return for Nathaniel Clyne?

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Liverpool may have to fend off competition from Manchester United to secure England's first-choice right back.

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Liverpool submitted a £10 million bid last month for the services of Southampton's Nathaniel Clyne. Although the 24-year-old England international only has a year left on his contract, his current club value him higher than what was offered despite seemingly favourable contractual conditions for any club interested in the player. It is believed that it will take an offer of around £15 million to secure England's first-choice right back.

Liverpool seemed to be at the head of the queue in negotiating for Clyne with rival Premier League clubs interested in other players for that particular position or looking to strengthen in different positions of their respective teams. Liverpool may be mindful of paying too much for another Southampton player, while the former home of Dejan Lovren is probably right to continue to extract the most possible for an important part of Ronald Koeman's squad.

Manchester United were reportedly interested in Dani Alves, but the experienced Barcelona right back has renewed his contract for another two seasons. Paris Saint-Germain's Gregory van der Wiel has emerged as a rumoured option for Louis van Gaal, but so has Nathaniel Clyne according to the Liverpool Echo. The Crystal Palace youth product was linked with the Red Devils quite strongly in recent months so it was a surprise that Liverpool were seen as front-runners for Clyne's signature. Liverpool will struggle to match the potential wages and Champions League football on offer at Old Trafford, where any new signing can expect regular starts ahead of Antonio Valencia and, if he continues into 2015/16 after disappointing season, Rafael da Silva.

Perhaps this won't be a lengthy transfer saga where clubs haggle and haggle before delight or disappointment. Manchester United could easily match Southampton's asking price with colossal matchday and commercial income bolstered by the return of Champions League revenues next season. Clyne is good enough for Liverpool, especially with doubts over existing options available to Brendan Rodgers at right back, but it's unlikely Merseyside's finest will agree to a deal without add-ons to come close to meeting Southampton's asking price. Sometimes, though, when a club has a free run at a quality player with rivals preoccupied with other targets, deals can be struck by making convincing offers to both player and club. Maybe the player is holding out for a Champions League club. Maybe £15 million stretches Liverpool's budget too far. Maybe there are internal disagreements about the value of the player. However, as John Ray's A collection of English proverbs 1670, 1678 reminds us:

"The early bird catcheth the worm."