Both Manchester United and Arsenal have launched enquiries about Southampton midfielder Mario Lemina, who was left out of the Saints’ pre-season squad.
Lemina recently confessed that he wants to leave Southampton this summer in search of a better ‘project’ and, after he was omitted from their touring squad, it seems just a matter of time before he seals a move elsewhere.
The Daily Mail insist there are a number of interested sides, with Arsenal, United, Leicester City and Serie A side Atalanta all expressing an interest in Lemina.
However, Leicester’s interest in Lemina may have faded after they completed the £40m signing of Youri Tielemans, meaning United and Arsenal could be set to battle for his signature.
Given he still has three years remaining on his current contract, Southampton will not be forced into selling Lemina for cheap, Instead, they will demand at least the £18m they paid Juventus to sign him in 2017.
During his spell at St Mary’s Stadium, Lemina has put in a number of impressive performances, but he struggled to hold down a regular place in the starting lineup as a result of injury. He was sidelined for 15 games between January and April, and it is thought that manager Ralph Hasenhuttl does not see him as part of his plans going forward.
United are on the lookout for a new midfielder this summer. They have already lost Ander Herrera to Paris Saint-Germain, but it is thought that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is keen to add a number of new faces anyway, especially if Paul Pogba leaves the club this summer.
The same can be said of Arsenal, who are eager to bring in several new players to try and bounce back from a disappointing end to the season which saw them miss out on Champions League football.
Should Lemina cost £18m, he would be affordable for Arsenal, who are operating with just £45m this summer. However, if United’s interest sparks a bidding war, the Gunners may find themselves unable to compete.
Source : 90min
Original article: http://www.arsenal-world.co.uk/news/tmnw/mario_lemina_edges_closer_to_southampton_exit_as_man_utd_arsenal_make_enquiries_934389/index.shtml