Liverpool’s search for a new left-back could mean Enrique is available this summer.
Southampton are rumoured to be lining up a £5million bid for Liverpool’s Jose Enrique, as they prepare for a summer exit from the club of in-demand youngster Luke Shaw.
The 17-year-old left-back has been a revelation for the Saints this season, establishing himself as one of England’s most promising young players with his displays at St Mary’s, and attracting strong interest from Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham.
The London trio are expected to bid for the youngster, who is the latest exciting young talent to come through the ranks of Southampton’s famous youth academy, following in the footsteps of the likes of Gareth Bale, Theo Waclott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Liverpool are not currently in for him, but are looking for a new left-back this summer, having already found themselves linked with Tottenham’s Danny Rose, who is also wanted on a permanent deal by Sunderland where he has just completed a season on loan, as well as highly rated Toulouse defender Aymen Abdennour.
This apparently suggests that Enrique is not in Brendan Rodgers’ first team plans next season, and could be available if the right offers come in for the former Newcastle man.
Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino is keen to strengthen his squad next season, particular if star player Shaw leaves, and is said to be looking at several players from La Liga, where he has previously managed with Espanyol. However, his liking of Spanish players could also see him move for the Premier League-based Enrique.
The 27-year-old is an experienced defender, capable at the back as well as going forward and could certainly be a good signing for Southampton as they look to establish themselves in their second season since winning promotion to the Premier League.
Sadly, they are used to losing their best young players like Shaw, who will likely choose a move to Chelsea after admitting he is a boyhood Blues fan, though he may also fancy his chances of more first team football at Tottenham, who are looking for a left-back to replace Danny Rose and Benoit Assou-Ekotto, who are both likely to be sold.
Shaw would have to work his way past Ashley Cole at Stamford Bridge, which is no easy job even for a player of his ability, and the club don’t have a great recent record of handing opportunities to young players.