Manchester United will have to double the amount they are willing to pay for Southampton star Sadio Mane if they want to sign him in the future, according to the Telegraph.
The Red Devils enquired about the availability of the Senegalese attacker in the summer transfer window, stopping short of making an official offer. However, officials from Old Trafford indicated to their St Mary's counterparts that they would be willing to pay £20m.
Their interest came as a surprise to most Manchester United fans. It seemed to be in response to Pedro's decision to join Chelsea, but Louis van Gaal was serious about bringing the 23-year-old to the club.
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United eventually opted for AS Monaco striker Anthony Martial, agreeing to pay an initial fee of £36m, rising to a potential £58m if certain performance-related bonuses are met.
While Martial has impressed in the early days of his Premier League career, the fee was indicative of a market starved of quality strikers. As a result, Southampton have decided to up their asking price for Mane.
They believe Mane's performances are comparable to Martial's and, therefore, want an equal fee, meaning any interested club will have to pay between £35-40m.
With a global shortage of quality strikers, Southampton now regard Mane as their most valuable player and even more so than any player sold in the past 18 months.
Adam Lallana (£25m, 2014), Morgan Schneiderlin (£24m, 2015,) and Luke Shaw (£27m, 2014) have all been sold to Liverpool and Manchester United in recent years, but Southampton think a transfer fee for Mane will reach greater heights. They hope to agree an improved and extended contract that reflects that in the coming weeks.
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