Manchester United have joined Arsenal in the race for Southampton star Morgan Schneiderlin, as Louis van Gaal attempts to build on a promising first year at Old Trafford.
According to The Guardian, the 25-year-old will cost around £25m, which may play into Manchester United’s hands, as the Daily Mirror reported that Arsene Wenger does not plan to spend big this summer in the wake of the Gunners’ victory in the FA Cup.
When asked about which players he plans to open the chequebook for, Wenger replied: “Since we started to buy again, we have slowly come back to a more competitive level. But you speak maybe about stratospheric numbers where we will not be involved.”
Arsenal’s Wembley triumph over Aston Villa would have been a popular one on the south coast, as it denied Tim Sherwood’s side taking the Saints’ place in next season’s Europa League. Despite the astronomical rise, that has seen the club go from administration and a points deduction in League One all the way to the top half of the Premier League, Ronald Koeman’s men still have a monumental task on their hands if they wish to convince the holding midfielder to stay.
The Guardian reported last month that the former Strasbourg man wishes to move his career to the next level, which both the interested clubs could offer.
“Of course the Champions League is my goal. If I leave Southampton it will be for a club in the Champions League,” he said.
Having moved to St Mary’s in 2008, Schneiderlin has been one of several players that has seen the club fall to the brink of extinction, and subsequently helped bring it back to the top flight. And despite many of their key players – including Adam Lallana and Rickie Lambert – jumping ship last summer, the stalwart remained.
Now alongside Victor Wanyama, he has provided a steel that has allowed the side to scale new heights in the table, and achieve their best finish of the Premier League era this season.
His growing reputation was also recognised by Didier Deschamps, who gave him his international debut just before last year’s World Cup.