Manchester United have lodged a formal offer for Southampton star Morgan Schneiderlin, Saints boss Ronald Koeman has confirmed.
The Dutchman, who led the south-coast club to an impressive Premier League finish last term, has revealed that he knows Schneiderlin is eager to move to a big club, but that United’s bid - which came two weeks ago - wasn’t serious.
This follows on from his confirmation last week that he had received no bids serious enough to consider for Schneiderlin despite the fact that both United and Arsenal are said to be extremely interested in clinching the Frenchman’s signature.
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"A lot of speculation, but two weeks ago we had a bid from Manchester United. It wasn’t enough, it wasn’t serious, and [there have been] no more bids till today [Monday]," Koeman said, according to Goal.
"Everybody knows the situation of Morgan. I understand the player - if he can get a big move to a big [club], I can understand it.
"I hope that if there is any business, that it will be soon because it’s best for the player, best for us, we have to prepare ourselves if we sell the player.
"I’ve had a lot of meetings with Morgan. I had a meeting last week, everybody knows his situation. But it’s important for the player to do a good pre-season. And we will see what happens in the next few days.
"I don’t talk about money, about numbers, it’s not my business, it’s up to the club."
Waiting for news
Whether or not ‘till today’ implies that a bid has been launched by United today (Monday) or if it’s just Koeman’s way of saying there have been no more bids made at this point is ultimately unclear, but it stands to reason that it won’t be long before either Louis van Gaal or Arsene Wenger put enough money on the table to get Southampton’s attention.
Neither club is short on money and both arguably have a fair bit of work to do in the market over the course of the summer if they’re to compete for major silverware next term.
Arsenal and United need
On top of that the addition of a strong defensive-midfielder would be welcome at either the Emirates Stadium or Old Trafford, with Van Gaal and Wenger having need of such a player for different reasons.
Michael Carrick is a sure enough option when fit for United but he’s struggled with injuries of late and at 33 is firmly in the twilight of his career.
Meanwhile Wenger stumbled across a gem when he recalled Francis Coquelin from his loan spell at Charlton last season, but the youngster will need more experience alongside him to sufficiently anchor the midfield.
The viable option
As a result Schneiderlin, with his wealth of Premier League and international pedigree, makes for a very viable option, and the fact that he’s valued at a mooted £25million means there’s very little from stopping a transfer happening.
The only obstacle at the moment appears to be the fact that United and Arsenal haven’t put up the necessary sum, but that’s something easily remedied if both clubs are serious.
Koeman is right when he says it’s best for all parties that a solution is found either way sooner rather than later, though if Van Gaal and Wenger want to attempt to negotiate a price down it could be some time before official confirmation is realised.
United fans, do you think Van Gaal should pay the £25m Southampton are holding out for? Arsenal fans, should Wenger do the same? Let us know your thoughts in the comments box below.