Manchester City have identified Luke Shaw as a summer transfer target, with the manager, Manuel Pellegrini, intent on strengthening his options at left-back.
City face stiff competition from Chelsea and Manchester United for the 18-year-old but, with Gaël Clichy having lost his first-team berth and doubts about the defensive abilities of his replacement Aleksandar Kolarov, the Southampton defender represents an attractive, long-term investment.
Chelsea are in pole position, with Shaw being a fan of the club and the training ground in Cobham being close to where his parents live.
Even if Patrice Evra decides to stay at United, David Moyes is intent on signing a left-back, though the champions have only an outside chance of landing Shaw.
Evra and United hold an option that would allow the player to extend his contract by a year. Whether Evra would settle for being relegated to second choice is unclear but, given his affection for United and his influence in the dressing room, he may decide to stay.