Southampton have confirmed that Ryan Bertrand will be leaving the club when his contract expires at the end of the season.
Having come through the youth setup at Chelsea, Bertrand was never really able to establish himself as a regular team member at Stamford Bridge and went on numerous loan spells instead, before the last one, a one-year deal with Southampton in 2014, resulted in a permanent move to St. Mary’s the following year.
Since then, the left-back has gone on to represent the Saints on 240 occasions in all competitions, scoring eight goals and providing 20 assists.
The 31-year-old is reportedly a free-transfer target for Arsenal, who are looking to secure a backup option for Kieran Tierney on the left defensive flank, though contact has apparently come from the likes of AS Monaco and AC Milan as well. Gunners boss Mikel Arteta has mostly been using Granit Xhaka and Bukayo Saka for the role when Tierney was unavailable, with Sead Kolasinac currently plying his trade at Schalke 04. The Bosnia and Herzegovina international is expected to leave the Emirates permanently in the summer, with his contract entering its final 12 months and no extension on the horizon.
“The club and Ryan have agreed that now is the time to respectfully part ways and move forward on different paths,” the official statement from Southampton says.
“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.”