Southampton have identified Jordy Clasie has their first choice to replace Morgan Schneiderlin should the Frenchman depart St Mary's this summer, reports The Times.
Ronald Koeman is aware that Schneiderlin is intent on leaving Southampton this summer and it is expected Arsenal and Chelsea will come in for him.
The Gunners are favourite with Arsene Wenger willing to pay £25million for his services while Jose Mourinho has reportedly toyed with the idea of offering Jon Obi Mikel in exchange.
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But it seems as if Mikel has not been included on Koeman's shortlist to replace the combative Schneiderlin as he has his eyes set firmly on Clasie.
The 23-year-old has already worked under Koeman in his short career and would be interested in a reunion. Feyenoord would be willing to sell for £12m but Southampton will try their best to lower that fee.
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They will offer Vurnon Anita, an unwanted Dutch midfielder, as part of the deal and will also offer to pay a portion of his wages for Feyenoord. That, Koeman hopes, will lower the transfer fee significantly.
Once Clasie is in the red and white shirt, Schneiderlin will finally be freed from the prison that is St Mary's having been kept against his will for a whole 12 months.
Ready to sell
Schneiderlin tried his best to agitate his way out of Southampton last summer, but officials decided that they had already sold enough players.
Having seen Luke Shaw, Adam Lallana, Dejan Lovren, Rickie Lambert and Calum Chambers leave, they decided letting Schneiderlin go would be a bridge too far.
But having had a stellar season, where they stayed in contention for a top four place well into the second half of the season, fears of relegation have been allayed and they are now ready to sell.
Originally, it was thought Tottenham was Schneiderlin's destination of choice. He wanted to follow Mauricio Pochettino to White Hart Lane and was willing to reject Arsenal to do so.
But Tottenham's lack of Champions League football will be a big problem and that is where Arsenal hope their advantage lies.
They will most likely qualify for next season's competition and Schneiderlin would no doubt relish the chance to play in Europe's top tier competition.
Are Arsenal right to be thinking of spending £25m on that man above?
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