Manchester City and Liverpool are now almost certain to finish third and fourth—unless the two clubs finish fourth and third instead. They also are both set to head into the summer looking to strengthen at the left back position, with the two clubs being linked with a string of potential targets over the past few months.
For Liverpool, the preferred option would be Fulham’s teenage sensation Ryan Sessegnon, but the 16-year-old has lately been making noises about remaining at Fulham where he will get starters’ minutes next season rather than moving to Anfield to back up James Milner for at least the coming season.
That has meant that many, at least in the press, have started to look at other potential options, including Ryan Bertrand, the 27-year-old former Chelsea product who has belatedly come into his own after a full time move to St. Mary’s two summers ago. And according to ESPN, it’s not just Liverpool looking at him.
ESPN, citing sources close to the player, claim that Manchester City are also seriously considering a move and that Southampton could be convinced to sell the English defender. That the report comes right out and confirms it’s coming from the player’s side of things at least takes away the guessing game.
It doesn’t necessarily invalidate the rumour, though, not when Bertrand has been linked with Liverpool off and on in the past and that journalists with ties to the club have previously confirmed that there is interest there—not enough to make him the primary target, but interest nonetheless.
Sessegnon could still end up at Anfield—especially if they fail in their promotion bid, falling to Reading in the quarter-finals or Huddersfield or Sheffield Wednesday in the finals of the Championship promotion playoffs—but if he doesn’t, a move for Bertrand wouldn’t surprise.
With Bertrand not the top choice for either City or Liverpool, though, even if the latest rumours can be taken at face value, it will likely be a few more weeks at least before the left back rumours begin to resolve themselves.