Arsenal have been given a major boost in their attempts to sign Ryan Bertrand.
The Gunners’ search for defensive reinforcements in the January transfer window saw them linked with a rather surprise move for the former Chelsea left-back, but a deal was unlikely given Southampton’s stance.
It was reported by the Evening Standard that Saints would not sanction a sale in the winter window as Bertrand was their only senior left-back.
And that proved to be the case with the 31-year-old remaining on the south coast to help Ralph Hasenhüttl reach the FA Cup semi-final and ensure another season in the Premier League.
However, Bertrand’s time at St Mary’s will come to an end next month when his contract expires.
An announcement of his imminent departure came on Wednesday afternoon via Southampton’s official website as a statement reads: “Southampton Football Club can today confirm that Ryan Bertrand will leave the club when his contract expires at the end of the season.
“Bertrand initially joined Saints on loan from Chelsea in 2014, before making his move permanent at the start of 2015. He has gone on to make 240 appearances for the club, scoring eight times, and was a key part of the team during one of the most successful periods in the club’s history.
“Whilst that time will always be fondly remembered, the club and Ryan have agreed that now is the time to respectfully part ways and move forward on different paths.
“Everyone associated with Southampton would like to thank Ryan for his contribution to the history of the club, and for all the memories he has helped create for our fans. He will forever be welcome at St Mary’s and Staplewood and will always be a Saint.”
Interestingly, this announcement comes hot on the heels of Goal reporting that Arsenal had made an approach to sign Bertrand on a free transfer.
In addition, football.londonunderstands that a natural left-back will almost certainly be signed this summer as part of Mikel Arteta’s mission to provide cover for Kieran Tierney.
With this latest development, Gunners technical director Edu is free to complete Arteta’s transfer mission if Bertrand is still their first-choice left-back option.
Source by Football London