Arsenal are one of four clubs competing to sign Southampton left-back Ryan Bertrand on a free transfer after a breakdown in contract talks.

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND: Ralph Hasenhuttl, Manager of Southampton celebrates with Ryan Bertrand of Southampton following their side's victory after The Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round match between Southampton FC and Arsenal FC on January 23, 2021. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND: Ralph Hasenhuttl, Manager of Southampton celebrates with Ryan Bertrand of Southampton following their side’s victory after The Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round match between Southampton FC and Arsenal FC on January 23, 2021. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Goal initially reported that Ryan Bertrand is set to let his Southampton contract run down to its conclusion this summer, at which point he’ll be drawing interest from a number of clubs. Southampton have since confirmed the news officially.

According to Goal, Arsenal, AC Milan, and AS Monaco have begun talks to try and bring him in, whilst Manchester City have also made contact.

Arsenal would obviously like to use Bertrand as a backup to Kieran Tierney. They tried to bring the left-back in for exactly that purpose in January, but Southampton rejected Arsenal’s bid in the hope they could tie the player to a new deal.

With that possibility now off the table, it’s up to Bertrand himself whether or not he wants to join Arsenal.

31-year-old Bertrand has plenty of experience in English football. He started out at Chelsea, breaking into their team after a number of loans to League One and the Championship.

After a Premier League loan to Aston Villa in 2013/14, he joined Southampton, where he’s spent the last seven seasons as a regular starter. 2018/19 was the only campaign he made fewer than 30 appearances, due to a back injury.

The links to Bertrand were public knowledge in January. At the time, Arsenal were also reportedly considering fellow contract rebel Tyrick Mitchell of Crystal Palace, but Mitchell signed a new deal to 2025 in April. It’s no surprise Bertrand now appears to be a primary target.

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Arsenal fan since a young age, now a season ticket holder who enjoys writing, tweeting and making videos about the Gunners.