Report: Arsenal interested in experienced Premier League left-back – originally posted on Sportslens.com
Arsenal are monitoring the contract situation of Southampton defender Ryan Bertrand as per a report from Standard Sport.
The north London side recently sanctioned the loan exit of Sead Kolasinac to Schalke 04 and it is unclear whether he will be re-integrated into the squad in the summer.
With his departure, Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Bukayo Saka, who has played in an attacking role this term, are the back-up options for regular left-back Kieran Tierney.
Maitland-Niles has recently got his chance when Tierney has been unavailable, but he has struggled to deliver quality crosses into the box which is justified.
The England international is a central midfielder by trade, but he has barely played in the position during his senior career with the Gunners.
Arteta recently hinted that the club could do with a natural option on the left side of the defence and it is reported that they are keeping tabs on Bertrand.
The 31-year-old has been in extended contract talks with the Saints, but so far, the south Coast outfit have been unable to renew his deal which expires in June.
Still, Bertrand may not be available for sale this month, considering the Saints don’t have any senior left-back options in the squad other than the ex-Chelsea graduate.
Tierney has been hugely impressive for the Gunners this term and he stood out even when the Gunners were struggling to pick up wins.
However, the 23-year-old has had an injury record in the past and Arteta will be wary of playing him continuously without offering a breather.
It is quite clear that Saka’s future lies in the attack and that has left Maitland-Niles as the immediate back-up choice for Tierney.
Maitland-Niles has impressed defensively playing in both full-back positions, but he has not provided much of a threat going forward.
Bertrand, who has 246 Premier League appearances to his name, could be an ideal signing for the Gunners, but a deal appears unlikely this month.
He could be available for a nominal fee in the current transfer window, but that would largely depend on whether the Saints can land a suitable replacement.
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