Speculation continues to mount concerning the future of Southampton star Sadio Mane who has recently become a target for Louis van Gaal at Manchester United, according to the Daily Mail. However, a potential move to Old Trafford could jeopardise the midfielder’s career.
Saints manager Ronald Koeman has dismissed reports suggesting Mane could be on his way out of St Mary’s Stadium this month nevertheless, the summer could tell a different story.
A recent downfall has seen United eager to snap up a new star to bolster their goal scoring abilities with the African seemingly the ideal purchase despite having to wait until the summer window.
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After turning up late to a pre-match team meeting forced him to watch the weekend’s clash with Norwich from the bench, such actions could determine his desire to leave the club sparking even more speculation surrounding his future.
The Red Devils are favourites to land the 23-year-old despite competition from Chelsea and Bayern Munich, although moving to Old Trafford might not be the most beneficial transfer.
Scoring 17 goals in 51 appearances for the Saints proves he can cause opposing defenders problems; something certain players have failed to accumulate this campaign at United.
There is no doubt that Mane is one of the best Southampton players - if not the best - in the current squad and has stepped up miraculously following the loss of key players in previous transfer windows, including the likes of Morgan Schneiderlin and Adam Lallana. Whether he can replicate that ability in a Man United shirt is a different matter and something that would weigh on the midfielder’s shoulders.
Arguably, Lallana and Schneiderlin have not been the players they used to be. Prolific form seems to have been left at St Mary’s and the ability to repeat their star qualities has proven negative. Despite a recent change in form, former defender Dejan Lovren has also failed to reach expectations that he showed at Southampton.
If Mane was to follow in the footsteps of previous stars who wanted to ameliorate their career, history shows it may prove more beneficial to Southampton than United.
Alternatively, staying at the Saints could see the African further improve his attributes and consistency, helping him become a better player rather than potentially wasting his chance and diminishing his class on a bigger, more demanding stage such as Old Trafford.
Competing for a place in the Southampton starting line-up would be significantly easier compared to challenging the likes of Juan Mata for a spot.
United can turn their heads to more substantial recruitment for a cheaper fee if they omit Mane from their targets. Moreover, recent indiscipline proves his personality could be strenuous to handle and with an astounding price tag of £40million, the midfielder may not be the safest option to acquire.
There can be no ruling out a summer departure. However, Old Trafford doesn’t seem the right destination for Mane and a slightly subordinate side seems the ideal target for excelling his credentials.