Manchester United and Arsenal are poised to go head-to-head with each other and Barcelona this summer as one of their main transfer targets has 'made it clear' to his club that he wants to move.
According to The Sun, Southampton are preparing for another summer exodus and their prized asset, Morgan Schneiderlin, is one of those who looks certain to be departing once the transfer window opens at the end of the season.
Rated at £25million, the France international was blocked from moving to Tottenham Hotspur last summer and is now on the radar of Arsene Wenger and Louis van Gaal, as well as scouts from Camp Nou.
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Last summer's snub from the Saints could have been made on the condition that he would be allowed to leave this time around if an offer came in, and it looks as though he won't be short of offers.
Where Will He Go?
Arsenal's interest is understandable as Schneiderlin would be a perfect fit for Arsene Wenger's team, who are in need of greater depth in defensive midfield. The Gunners have been long-linked with a move for the 25-year-old and this summer could be their chance.
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Meanwhile, Manchester United have more options in defensive midfield with the likes of Daley Blind and Michael Carrick, but neither of those two have shown the dominance that Schneiderlin has done for Southampton.
Barcelona are the third team and could probably do with greater protection in front of a back four that is vulnerable against the best teams, but they are currently under a transfer embargo and will not be able to sign anyone until 2016. That will likely rule them out of the running.
Gunners Must Win This Race
Wenger and Van Gaal could be going head-to-head this summer in a bid to recruit the combative, but technically gifted, midfielder and it is a tussle that the Arsenal boss really needs to win.
Emirates Stadium has been short of a dominant specialist midfield screen for some years, with Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini both doing decent jobs of it, but not at the level you would expect of a top class club.
Since Christmas there has been a surprise success in Francis Coquelin, who has outperformed expectations to an astonishing degree. Injury necessitated his recall from a loan deal at Charlton Athletic in the Championship and he has taken his opportunity with both hands.
While the young Frenchman is performing brilliantly, there is still need for a player of a higher level in his position if Arsenal are to challenge for the Premier League title again. Coquelin and Schneiderlin would be a very effective duo for the squad and would mean depth that Wenger has not had for some time.
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