Morgan Schneiderlin: I want to play in the Champions League

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Southampton midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin has given the clearest indication yet that he's planning to leave St Mary's this summer after confirming in an interview with French radio station RMC that he wants to join a Champions League club.

The 25-year-old has been heavily linked with a move away from Saints at the end of the season, with north London rivals Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur both mooted as admirers of the France international.

Schneiderlin says he's keen to stay in the Premier League, but the fact that Spurs missed out on the top four means Arsene Wenger's side are now hot favourites to secure the player's signature.

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Ronald Koeman fought hard to keep Schneiderlin on the south coast last summer, but with just two years remaining on his contract the Dutch coach knows that his most important player's days at the club could now be numbered.

Southampton have offered him an extension that would make the former Strasbourg man the highest earner at St Mary's, but it's becoming increasingly clear that the player is keen to engineer an exit.

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"Yes, I think my decision is made," Schneiderlin is quoted saying by The Guardian. "The goal is to stay in England. It is a championship that I like and where I have a lot of fun.

"If I leave Southampton, it is for a club that plays better than the Europa League. There are ongoing discussions but nothing is done.

"Of course the Champions League is my goal. If I leave Southampton it will be for a club in the Champions League."

He added: "I have a two-year contract. If a club pays the right amount for me, it will be time to leave.

"The amount? I have no idea but I will not leave for a small price. Southampton is known to be a good seller club, the price should be high enough."

A figure of £25 million is thought to be Southampton's asking price for a player that has risen through the divisions since joining them in 2008. His influence in the first-team has grown every year to the point that Schneiderlin is now regarded as Koeman's standout player.

However, he missed the final few games of 2014/15 after suffering a knee injury in the 2-2 draw with Tottenham at the end of April, denying him the chance to bid farewell to the Saints fans during Sunday's final match of the campaign against Manchester City.

"My injury is getting better. I still have the left knee ligament that suffers a bit, but I can run," he concluded. "I'll enjoy the holiday to recover.

"I wanted to wear this jersey again, it's an honour. So it's annoying. But then I'll be able to recover and have a good season next year."

Southampton lost 2-0 against the Citizens at the Etihad Stadium, but despite the defeat they still secured their highest ever points tally in the Premier League era (60) to secured seventh spot in the table, which will also ensure they qualify for next season's Europa League providing Arsenal beat Aston Villa in next weekend's FA Cup final at Wembley.

Southampton fans: Do you think you've seen the last of Morgan Schneiderlin at St Mary's? If so, where do you think he will end up? Arsenal or somewhere else? Share your thoughts below…

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Morgan Schneiderlin
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