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Ryan Bertrand: Southampton defender to leave club at end of the season

Southampton confirm Ryan Bertrand will leave the club when his contract expires at the end of the season; left-back joined Saints from Chelsea in a permanent deal in 2015 and has made 240 appearances; 31-year-old dismisses reports he rejected a new deal

Ryan Bertrand has scored eight goals in 240 appearances for Southampton
Image: Ryan Bertrand has scored eight goals in 240 appearances for Southampton

Ryan Bertrand will leave Southampton at the end of the season, the Premier League club have announced.

The 31-year-old left-back, whose contract expires at the end of the season, has made 240 appearances for the Saints, scoring eight goals, since his initial loan from Chelsea was made permanent in February 2015.

Bertrand reached the FA Cup final, two FA Cup semi-finals and was part of the team that secured the club's highest finish in the Premier League in the 2015-16 season.

Southampton said in a club statement: "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."

In a social media post, Bertrand dismissed reports he had rejected a new contract offer from Southampton as inaccurate.

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"After many months of hard decision making, I have decided to leave Southampton Football Club," he said.

"This has only been decided in the last 48 hours and comments that I had not accepted an offer previously are not true."

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Bertrand, who has made 34 appearances for Ralph Hasenhuttl's side this season, has recently been linked with a number of clubs, including Arsenal.

"This has been a difficult decision for me, but the time has come for me to seek a new challenge and find a new home that allows me the freedom to play and maximise my contribution to the team," added Bertrand, who has won 19 caps for England.

Southampton host Fulham and Leeds in their next two league matches, before they end the campaign at West Ham on May 23, with Bertrand having missed the club's last three matches through injury.

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