Manchester United will have to pay £40m for Mané
Manchester United would have to double their summer offer for Sadio Mané to have any chance of buying him next year following the Southampton forward's outstanding start to the season.
Southampton officials made it clear in August that Mané would not be sold this year after an inquiry from United, who had indicated a willingness to pay around £20m for the 23-year-old Senegal international.
United eventually spent an initial £36m on Anthony Martial, potentially rising to £58m, and the sense at Southampton is that Mané is performing to a similar level as the France forward and would already have a comparable valuation in the £35-40m bracket.
The lack of available strikers as well as the start next year of the new Premier League television deal may push prices up and, while Southampton hope to keep Mané and potentially extend his contract, he will be regarded as more valuable than any of the players sold to Liverpool and Manchester United in the past 18 months.
The issue was raised this week with both manager Ronald Koeman and executive director Les Reed at a forum of 500 fans, with one supporter advising the pair to tell United "to get stuffed" unless they paid £50m.
Reed replied by joking "only £50 million?" for a player Southampton bought for £11.8m from Red Bull Salzburg last year. (© Daily Telegraph, London)