Morgan Schneiderlin tells friends he wants to join Manchester United

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Manchester United have confirmed their interest in signing Southampton midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin, but insist they are not close to striking a deal for the Arsenal target.

This is according to the Daily Star’s chief sports writer Jeremy Cross, who quotes a senior United figure as saying: “Yes, we are interested in Morgan but no deal is imminent.”

The report adds that United are ready to make their move for the France international if they are unable to strike a deal for Bayern Munich midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger.

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Interestingly, it’s also claimed that Schneiderlin has told friends he wants a move to Old Trafford, rather than the Emirates Stadium or Tottenham’s White Hart Lane.

The 25-year-old has made up his mind to leave the Saints, despite having been offered a new £60,000-a-week deal to stay at St Mary’s.

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Schneiderlin is ideal for Arsenal or United

Schneiderlin has established his status as one of the Premier League’s best midfield enforcers since winning promotion to the top flight with Southampton in 2012 and it’s no surprise the likes of Louis van Gaal, Arsene Wenger and even Jose Mourinho are determined to add him to their ranks this summer.

Both Manchester United and Arsenal are in need of a new top-level central midfielder heading into the 2015-16 campaign - and the gifted Schneiderlin appears to tick all the boxes.

United officials have reportedly made contact with the player’s representatives and are poised to make an offer in the region of £20 million - £5 million short of Southampton’s valuation.

Schneiderlin would be a significantly more expensive option than Schweinsteiger, who Bayern Munich could sell for as little as £10 million before the start of the new season.

But the German World Cup winner is five years older than Schneiderlin, who Van Gaal regards as a potential long-term replacement for veteran United midfielder Michael Carrick.

Arsenal fans will be disappointed

Arsenal fans, meanwhile, are likely to be disappointed with Wenger if he fails to stump up the money required to secure Schneiderlin’s services.

The Gunners have been exposed in that area of the pitch, season after season, since the departure of Patrick Vieira in 2005.

Schneiderlin would certainly be an improvement on what Arsenal have at the moment, but it seems the Frenchman now has his heart set on a move to Old Trafford.

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