London – Luke Shaw is poised to become the most expensive teenage footballer of all time, with Manchester United set to sign the England international for £30 million (about R543-million) from Premier League rivals Southampton, according to a report published on the Daily Telegraph website Thursday.
The proposed arrival of Shaw at Old Trafford comes after United completed their first signing since Louis van Gaal, currently coaching the Netherlands at the World Cup, was confirmed as their new manager when midfielder Ander Herrera joined from Athletic Bilbao for a reported £28.5m on Thursday.
According to the Telegraph, the 18-year-old Shaw is due to undergo a medical in Manchester on Friday.
The Saints defender made his World Cup debut in a goalless draw against Costa Rica on Tuesday – England's last match of Brazil 2014 after defeats by Italy and Uruguay meant they could not get out of their group.
Shaw has also attracted interest from Chelsea, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.
Were he to leave the south coast club it would be another stage in the break-up of a promising Southampton side, who finished eighth to United's seventh in last season's Premier League table.
England striker Rickie Lambert has already left for Liverpool, with midfielder Adam Lallana, his club and international team-mate, set to do likewise.
While eighth place was considered an impressive finish for a club of Southampton's stature, seventh was considered wholly unacceptable for United, who started the season as champions of England but ended the campaign having failed to qualify for not just the European Champions League but the second-string Europa League as well.
Indeed, one Champions League qualification was no longer a mathematical possibility, United sacked David Moyes – retired managerial great Alex Ferguson's chosen successor at Old Trafford – and briefly installed club legend Ryan Giggs as caretaker boss before appointing the experienced van Gaal.
After the Costa Rica match, it was suggested to left-back Shaw, who would be competing for a starting place with Patrice Evra were he to join United, that he needed to be playing Champions League football to feel truly at home on the world stage.
Clearly, that would be denied him for at least one season were he to join United, but Shaw said: “You can't really say that because you look at the other teams and they haven't all got Champions League players, have they?”
“I don't know. Obviously Champions League would help, playing against world-class players, but you can't just say that because you look at other teams that have gone through the groups and they haven't got all Champions League players.
“I don't know. I think we'll have a look at it and just to try and move on in the coming few months.” – Sapa-AFP