Manchester United are poised to complete the signing of Southampton midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin, with the France international set to undergo a medical with the Red Devils later today.
The Sun understand that arrangements have been made by United for the 25-year-old to have a medical at some point on Monday before signing a four-year contract and completing his switch from St. Mary’s.
It appears that United have won the race for the Saints’ star, who joined the south-coast club from Strasbourg in 2008, after fending off competition from the likes of Arsenal and Tottenham.
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Schneiderlin will become Manchester United’s second summer signing, following the arrival of Dutch winger Memphis Depay earlier this month, and is expected to cost a reported £25 million.
This would make the Frenchman the eleventh most expensive player in Manchester United’s history.
Michael Carrick's long-term replacement
Schneiderlin will help to ease the burden on the ageing Michael Carrick, who turns 34 next month, with United hoping to compete for all four major trophies next season.
Qualifying for the Champions League group stages is imperative for the Red Devils and the reason why Louis van Gaal is so keen to get his transfer business done as soon as possible. United will face their two-legged play-off qualifier in August, shortly after their first two Premier League fixtures - against Tottenham and Aston Villa - are played.
Van Gaal admitted, shortly before jetting off for his summer break in Portugal, that he required a new holding midfielder.
Van Gaal unconvinced by Daley Blind?
The veteran Dutch coach effectively admitted, without saying as much, that Daley Blind has failed to convince him in that specific position. The versatile Netherlands international has looked far more assured for the Red Devils at left-back, where he will compete for that position with Luke Shaw next season.
"No.6 is a key player," Van Gaal was quoted as saying by the Manchester Evening News. "I have more key roles, the No.6 is just one of those key roles. You have seen this season, for example, because Michael Carrick is injured and I don’t have another, I have to play with Ander Herrera there. He did it very well, but it is not his speciality.
"I have played Wayne Rooney there also, but it is not his favoured position. I had to do this because I don’t have another right-footed holding midfielder like Carrick. That is why it is a key role, but I cannot discuss other positions because then I show too much."
Schneiderlin has made no secret of the fact, over the past 12 months, that his ambition is to play for a club competing in the Champions League - and next season he will have the opportunity to prove he’s good enough.
Manchester United fans: how important a signing is Morgan Schneiderlin? Will he settle at Old Trafford? Have your say in the comments below!