Nathaniel Clyne
Manchester United are preparing a £19m bid as Nathaniel Clyne delays contract talks with Southampton. Getty

Manchester United are reportedly preparing a £19m bid for Southampton defender Nathaniel Clyne.

According to Tutto Mercato Web, the England international, who has been a long-term target of the Red Devils could move to Old Trafford either in January or during the summer transfer window.

Louis van Gaal is on the market for defenders and has made strengthening his right-back position a priority, and this has seen the club been linked with various players in recent months.

Everton's Seamus Coleman and Barcelona's Dani Alves have been a few of the names mentioned with regards to a possible move to Old Trafford.

Clyne has been impressive for the Saints this season, and his performances resulted in him getting called up to the senior England squad by Roy Hodgson. With Kyle Walker and Glen Johnson out of the reckoning due to injuries, the full-back has made the position his own in the Three Lions squad.

Apart from the Red Devils, Premier League rivals Liverpool have also been credited with interest in the defender. Brendan Rodgers is a long time admirer of the Saints player and the report claims that he has earmarked him as a perfect replacement for Glen Johnson, who is out of contract at the end of the season.

But Southampton are reluctant to let another of their key players leave, especially after seeing an exodus during last summer's transfer window. And despite losing so many top stars, the Saints are flying in the Premier League and are currently in third place ahead of big guns like United, Arsenal and Liverpool.

Ronald Koeman is keen to tie up his players to new deals as soon as possible, as he continues his quest to qualify for the Champions League in his first season in England.

However, Clyne, on the other hand is not in a hurry to sign a new contract, and has admitted that he will wait till April before taking a decision on his future. The 23-year-old defender will have one-year remaining on his contract at the end of the current campaign.

"We will wait until April. I'm still negotiating my contract with my agent and the club," the former Crystal Palace defender said, as quoted by Sky Sports.