Sir Alex Ferguson
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson. REUTERS

Crystal Palace starlet Nathaniel Clyne has been urged by manager Dougie Freedman to stay with the club, as transfer speculation continues to link the defender to Manchester United.

Clyne has starred for Palace since moving through the youth ranks to the senior side in 2008. And his performance against the Red Devils in the lower league side's surprise victory in the Carling Cup has alerted top clubs to his services.

And while United have been connected to the youngster by numerous press outlets, Palace manager Dougie Freedman believes that Clyne can keep improving where he currently is.

"Nathaniel has been linked with lots of clubs because that is what agents do best," Freedman told the "Croydon Guardian."

"I know what happens if you move too early because I've been there and done it, your career can stall.

"I know he should stay and deep down Nathaniel knows he should stay but when certain representatives decide it is best for a 19-year-old to move away it is difficult.

"We gave him a chance in life, taught him the rights from wrongs and he is still learning the game.

"Nathaniel has gone from an OK player to one who is in the England U21s and playing some of his best stuff. I would like to think that if he stayed he would keep on improving."

United are in need of a defender after Nemanja Vidic was ruled out of the season with a knee ligament injury. The English giants have continually insisted that they won't sign anyone new in the next transfer window, but after losing Darren Fletcher to illness as well, Sir Alex Ferguson is more in need of new players than in recent years.

United were also connected to PSV starlet Jetro Willems during the week, as the club continue to monitor youngsters who show the potential to be top talents.

Pundits and fans alike will be watching very closely to see what moves Ferguson makes in the window, with the United manager keeping his cards very close to his chest.