We take a break from right wing transfer rumours to bring you ... left back transfer rumours. Of the going-away sort. It feels like Ryan Bertrand's already gone, to be honest -- he's been playing for other Premier League teams since about this time last year -- so I'm not even sure if I have any feelings about it beyond hoping we get good money when we actually sell him.
Anyway, here's Southampton manager Roanld Koeman on the prospect of turning Bertrand's loan into a permanent deal:
We would like to know fast what the player likes, if there is any possibility to buy that player, and that's in the case of Ryan and Toby [Alderweireld]. Of course, we don't put exactly a deadline on it but we would like to know it soon what the plans are of the players.
If it is yes and we can do the deal, then fantastic. If not, okay, then we need other players or we have to think about, that we have players in the Under-21s who can play in those positions. I think that it is important that the club is growing, the team is doing very well and the players are very happy. They have got the possibility to play in the case of Ryan and Toby. I think we have good possibilities to sign those players.
That reads to me as though Southampton have an option to buy, although it's hardly clear-cut quote. I'd almost rather that they didn't, to be honest: Bertrand's been excellent with the Saints this season, and I'd imagine that his stock has improved significantly from where it was last summer. If we're going to sell him, which is likely, we could probably get a very reasonable figure for him in the open market. Starting a bidding war sounds a lot better than Southampton getting him for whatever price was agreed before the season.
Either way, we'll be getting some money for Bertrand in the near future.