Nathaniel Clyne
Liverpool legend Alan Kennedy has urged Brendan Rodgers to sign Southampton full back Nathaniel Clyne this summerGetty

Liverpool legend Alan Kennedy has urged Brendan Rodgers to sign Southampton full back Nathaniel Clyne ahead of next season, as the Reds look for a long-term replacement for Glen Johnson, who has been allowed to leave following the expiry of his contract.

The Northern Irishman has been busy in recent weeks and has already recruited four players ahead of the official start of the summer transfer window on 1 July. The Reds have brought in James Milner, Adam Bogdan, Danny Ings and Joe Gomez from Manchester City, Bolton Wanderers, Burnley and Charlton Athletic respectively.

According to the Liverpool Echo, the Merseyside are close to landing the Three Lions right-back, and have returned with an improved offer after having their initial approach rejected. The Saints are prepared for the Englishman's departure as they have already signed a replacement in Cedric Soares from Sporting Lisbon in Portugal.

Two-time European winner Kennedy feels that it is necessary for the Reds boss to sign Clyne, who he feels is the best young full back in England. Liverpool have Javier Manquillo and Andre Wisdom in the full back positions, but both are untested on the big stage with the former entering the second of his two-year loan spell from Atletico Madrid.

"Clyne is very good, we all saw how good he was when Southampton came to Anfield last season, and he scored their goal. He has got something about him everybody likes and he is something we need," Kennedy said, as quoted by the Liverpool Echo.

"If we don't think Manquillo is going to do it at the club and we have lost Glen Johnson, the logical thing is to go out and buy the next best thing and I think that is Nathaniel Clyne," the former Reds full back added.

The former Anfield favourite is also hoping Rodgers reverts to a back four after ending the season with the 3-5-2 formation, and he wants Emre Can, who was largely used as a right-sided defender last season, to be installed in midfield in the void created by the departure of Steven Gerrard.

"I would love to see Liverpool revert back to a back four and I want to see Emre Can going into the midfield slot that Steven Gerrard has vacated," Kennedy added.

Manchester United have also been keen admirers of the England international, according to ESPN, and have reportedly rekindled their interest after Dani Alves committed his future to Barcelona.