Saturday 16 December 2017

Southampton turn down £20m Morgan Schneiderlin bid from Manchester United

Southampton's Morgan Schneiderlin.
Southampton's Morgan Schneiderlin.

Jeremy Wilson

Southampton have turned down a £20 million bid from Manchester United for France midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin.

United made the offer last week and have not so far returned with a bigger bid but their opening gambit fell considerably short of Southampton valuation of at least £25 million.

Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur are still interested following previous enquiries but are showing little appetite just now to join a bidding war with the Premier League’s richest club.

Schneiderlin is back in training with Southampton and has an understanding that he will be allowed to join a Champions League club should a suitable offer come in. Although £20 million is double the £10 million that was offered last year by Tottenham, Southampton are sure their valuation is very realistic for a player of Schneiderlin’s quality.

Their own statistics show that he was the club’s outstanding player last season, as well as the correlation between his contribution and their results. They are also well aware that United paid more for arguably less influential central midfielders over recent seasons in Anders Herrera and Marouane Fellaini. A contract offer is also on the table to make Schneiderlin the highest paid player in Southampton's history.

United are expected to return with a new bid and Schneiderlin’s sale would certainly help to mitigate the end of Dani Osvaldo’s sorry two seasons at the club. Osvaldo’s contract was terminated on Wednesday despite still having two years to run. Including wages, a club record transfer fee and the deal to end his contract, Osvaldo has cost Southampton £25 million for his return of three goals.

Osvaldo was signed under former manager Mauricio Pochettino and before the boardroom overhaul that has seen Ralph Kruger become chairman and Katharina Liebherr take a more active role at the club. He has not played for Southampton since headbutting Jose Fonte in January 2014 during a training ground altercation. Fonte later said that Osvaldo had sent him messages to apologise for the incident.

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