Manchester United have emerged as favourites to sign Morgan Schneiderlin from Southampton after the midfielder confirmed his exit from the south coast club is close.
The French ace has been linked with an exit from St. Mary's for some time now but speculation has increased over the last 24 hours after the 25-year-old revealed that he hopes to secure a transfer before pre-season starts next week.
"The negotiations are ongoing and should be completed in the coming days, hopefully before the resumption of [Southampton's pre-season] training next week," he is quoted as saying by French outlet France Bleu.
Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester United have all been linked with Schneiderlin in recent weeks and according to the Times it is the Red Devils who are currently in the race for his signature.
The Gunners were believed to be the front runners however boss Arsene Wenger is said to have his doubts because of the presence of Francis Coquelin. The Frenchman started last season on loan with Charlton but returned midway through the season and established himself in the first team.
Such were the level of his performances that Wenger is considering giving him a chance to shine next season, which is putting him off a move for Schneiderlin.
Manchester United were previously said to be taking a look at Bastian Schweinsteiger from Bayern Munich, although there is a chance that boss Louis van Gaal will look to land the experienced German as well as the Southampton man.
The Saints were able to block Schneiderlin from joining Tottenham last summer but it appears as though they have sanctioned his sale if an offer of £24 million is made, although Spurs appears to be an unlikely destination because they cannot offer Champions League football next term.
Whoever lands Schneiderlin is getting an exception player who has proven his worth in the Premier League - which begs the question why do some clubs seem reluctant to pay £24 million for him?
In the context of the new television deal and fees being fetched by other players - £28 million for Luke Shaw anyone? - he seems to be something of a bargain. The Frenchman will run all day long and has underrated quality on the ball.
It does seem as though he is perfect for Tottenham's all action style however Manchester United appear to be leading the race. His skills don't necessarily fit a move to Old Trafford where Van Gaal tends to deploy a more patient passing game, but good players can adapt and Schneiderlin is just that.