Manchester United will have to pay £24 million if they want to sign Southampton midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin this summer after the south coast club slapped a whopping valuation on the head of their want-away Frenchman.
According to the Daily Mirror, the 25-year-old will not be allowed to leave St Mary's for anything less than that punchy price-tag as Saints prepare to dig their heels in, in an attempt to keep hold of their star player next season.
Schneiderlin was the subject of widespread interest during the previous transfer window last summer, but the Premier League outfit refused to cave into the player's demands to follow several other first-team regulars out of the exit door.
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The departure of Mauricio Pochettino to Tottenham Hotspur sparked a flurry of player sales 12 months ago, but crucially Southampton kept hold of the France international, who played an integral role for Ronald Koeman's side in 2014/15 and helped them secure a seventh place finish and qualify for the Europa League.
However, it's always been the former Strasbourg starlet's intention to move on ahead of the new campaign, and with just two years now remaining on his current contract the club are in a slightly more precarious situation when it comes to enquires being made by potential suitors.
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Red Devils boss Louis van Gaal is among a growing list of admirers as he considers an attempt to lure Schneiderlin to Old Trafford next month.
The veteran Dutch coach might not have expected to be required to pay quite as much money as Southampton are demanding, though, despite the fact that Manchester United were forced to pay £28 million for the signature of Luke Shaw last year.
Arsene Wenger has also been a long-term fan of Schneiderlin. In fact, Arsenal almost signed the midfield maestro when he first moved to England at the age of 18, but it's unlikely the Gunners chief will entertain any attempt to bring the player to north London at such a high price, particularly in light of the recent emergence of Francis Coquelin at the Emirates.
The Premier League duo are not the only teams keeping tabs on developments back in Hampshire, with Serie 'A' champions Juventus and Atletico Madrid both also keen on a potential deal.
It's understood that Schneiderlin would prefer to remain in England where he has plied his trade for the past seven years, so the ball is still very much in Manchester United's court.
Manchester United fans: Do you think Morgan Schneiderlin would be a good signing this summer? Is £24m a decent deal for the Southampton star? Have your say below...
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