Southampton have quashed rumours linking striker Sadio Mane to Manchester United by insisting the Senegalese is not for sale.
In a surprise development, United sources claimed on Wednesday that the club made a bid to sign Mane last week.
Southampton deny any offer has been submitted for the winger, but a spokesman for the south-coast club said Mane is "not for sale" anyway.
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Despite making five signings this summer, United manager Louis van Gaal believes his squad lacks pace and creativity, and Mane certainly has both qualities in abundance.
Southampton signed the 23-year-old from Red Bull Salzburg last summer for £10 million.
In his first year at the Saints he scored 10 goals in 32 appearances, including the fastest hat-trick in Premier League history in the 6-1 win over Aston Villa.
The move for the player still comes as something of a surprise, however.
United were reported to be close to the capture of Barcelona forward Pedro last week, but it emerged on Wednesday that the club had pulled out of the running to sign the 28-year-old.
Sources at Old Trafford claim Van Gaal decided to abandon a bid to sign the Canary Islander after doubts emerged regarding whether he wanted to move to the 20-time English champions.
Pedro now looks set to move to Chelsea instead.
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