Arsenal target Morgan Schneiderlin has handed in a formal transfer request in order to force through a move to Tottenham Hotspur, according to Sky Sports.
The broadcasting giants claim that the midfielder is desperate to join up with Mauricio Pochettino at White Hart Lane, and is vying to make himself the latest high-profile name to depart the St. Mary’s Stadium this summer.
Only yesterday did Southampton chief Ralph Krueger make a public claim that both Schneiderlin and team-mate Jay Rodriguez would be staying at the club following a series of big exits, but this is thought to have annoyed the Frenchman, and he’s now openly pushing for an exit.
The 24-year-old, who is heavily coveted in north London, enjoyed a good season last term, and his ability to break up play and act as an anchorman in the middle of the park are traits which endeared him to Pochettino when the Argentinian coach was with the Saints. Spurs often lacked a bite in midfield last season, and one of their new boss’ first tasks will be to ensure they’re more solid this time around.
Pochettino is also said to want Rodriguez, though his injury woes make a potential deal more difficult, with Loic Remy’s failed transfer to Liverpool proving how much of an obstacle pre-transfer medicals can be.
Of course Tottenham aren’t alone in wanting Schneiderlin, and the interest from the Emirates Stadium could well culminate in Arsene Wenger making a last ditch attempt to hijack negotiations between their arch-rivals and the player himself.
Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini are steadily reaching the point of their respective careers where replacements are bound to be considered, and Wenger’s interest in Sami Khedira is enough to make clear of the type of player he’s looking to bring in.
The Gunners have already spent lavishly to sign Alexis Sanchez, Mathieu Debuchy and - somewhat coincidentally - Southampton’s Calum Chambers, proving that they’re ready to shake off their frugal reputation once and for all.
One would assume that Schneiderlin will now leave his current club sooner rather than later after his demands. Though the departures of Luke Shaw, Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert and Chambers have left the Saints desperate not to relinquish the services of any more top players, it’s hard to envisage things being the same now that the France star has made clear his stance.
For Schneiderlin is an upcoming talent who is undoubtedly looking to take his career to the next level, and Southampton’s decision to allow their most reputable assets to leave appears to have had an adverse effect on his relationship with the club.