Saturday 24 March 2018

Manchester United launch bid for Southampton forward Sadio Mane

Southampton's Sadio Mane
Southampton's Sadio Mane

Jason Burt

Southampton are understood to have received a surprise inquiry from Manchester United to sign Sadio Mane.

United are believed to have registered their interest last week with an initial bid which could partly explain why they stalled on completing a £21million move for Barcelona’s Pedro, who is now set to join Chelsea.

The scale of the United offer is unclear but manager Louis Van Gaal is interested in signing the 23-year-old, who enjoyed an outstanding season after joining Southampton from Red Bull Salzburg for £10million. Southampton are expected to fight to keep the player.

Mane scored 10 goals for Southampton – including the fastest hat-trick in Premier League history in the 6-1 win over Aston Villa in May – and caught the eye of a number of clubs with his pace and trickery.

Van Gaal is among those who has been impressed and having already signed Morgan Schneiderlin from Southampton this summer, and Luke Shaw the previous summer, has returned to the south-coast club for a third time.

United’s interest in the Senegalese attacker, who primarily plays as a winger, would indicate that Van Gaal is still trying to strengthen his forward options.

United insist that it was their manager who decided against moving for Pedro despite executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward having flown to Barcelona on Monday to discuss the deal. It was not the only piece of business on the agenda for Woodward.

United never offered to meet in full the £21.5million buy-out clause in the 28-year-old’s contract and structured a deal of around £18.5million plus add-ons.

Chelsea moved on Tuesday to sign Pedro and immediately met the clause with the Spanish international then flying to London to finalise the deal. United also were unsure as to whether Pedro really wanted to join them despite agreeing personal terms.

Online Editors

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