Southampton are reportedly eyeing a move for QPR’s converted left-back Ryan Manning, according to Football Insider.
The former Republic of Ireland U21 international is currently enjoying a fantastic season after being converted from a midfielder to full-back by Hoops manager Mark Warburton, so much so that he is beginning to attract interest from Premier League suitors.
Southampton are thought to be keen on the 23-year-old, and could line up a January move for him when the transfer window re-opens in four months’ time (per Football Insider).
Manning’s contract at Loftus Road expires next summer, meaning any club’s wishing to prize him away from west London could get him for a cut-price. QPR do have the option to extend his current deal, however.
The young defender has made 12 appearances in all competitions for Rangers this term – featuring for the full 90 in each of those matches – and has massively impressed, topping the club’s charts (per WhoScored) when it comes to tackles made per game (2.3). To put that into context, only two Saints players make more in the shape of Oriol Romeu and Cedric Soares, and Manning makes far more crosses a game (2.6) than anyone on the south coast right now.
Having initially joined QPR in 2015 from Irish side Galway United, Manning has gone onto make 63 appearances for the club.
He spent the first half of last term on loan with Rotherham United but has been given a new lease of life since being converted to a left-back under Mark Warburton.
Southampton are thin on the ground in the left-back area after the departure of Matt Targett to Aston Villa in the summer.
The Saints’ only fit out-and-out left-back is Ryan Bertrand after backup Sam McQueen ruptured his ACL whilst on loan with Middlesbrough last season.
Acquiring a player of Manning’s quality and versatility would massively help Southampton given his current stats in the second-tier and give manager Ralph Hasenhuttl more license for rotation amid some defensive problems this season.
Should Ralph Hasenhuttl be under pressure at Southampton?
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