Sadio Mane’s Southampton future is very much up in the air, after the club’s manager, Ronald Koeman, admitted that he was furious with the winger’s actions that ultimately led to him being dropped for their game with Norwich.
Ronald Koeman has revealed that the 23-year-old Senegalese midfielder, who joined Southampton from Red Bull Salzburg in the summer of 2014, was dropped from the starting eleven for the contest with Norwich because he missed a pre-match meeting.
Southampton ultimately lost the contest by 1 goal to nil, with Mane starting the contest on the substitutes’ bench. Mane finally came off the bench, but only for the last 10 minutes, and was unable to change the result.
But, despite the defeat, Ronald Koeman was adamant that he had no option but to drop Mane, insisting that he had shown his team-mates a lack of respect by missing the meeting, which was only a few hours before their match. This forced a last-minute reshuffle, which might have been a contributing factor in the defeat.
Speaking to BBC Sport, Ronal Koeman declared, “You have to respect your team-mates, the fans and the club because they pay good money for the players. To change the line-up two hours before the game, it’s unacceptable.”
Koeman decided to take this action against Sadio Mane, who before this had played in all of his side’s 19 Premier League matches this season, scoring three times in the process, had actually missed a meeting last year.
Koeman explained, “It’s the second time, it happened one time last year when he was late at the stadium and today he was late for the meeting. I cannot understand that these kind of mistakes can happen.”
To complicate matters even more, rumors that Manchester United might launch a new bid for Sadio Mane have increased following the dispute. Manchester United approached Southampton about purchasing Sadio Mane in the summer, but their advances were rebuffed by Koeman and the club, who insisted that he wasn’t for sale.
But the chances that the Senegal player might actually depart St. Mary’s have increased significantly following his falling out with Southampton’s Dutch coach. In fact, the Daily Mail has reported that even though Sadio Mane is unlikely to leave Southampton in the current transfer window, it’s believed that he will depart in the summer.
It’s believed that Sadio Mane will sit down with Ronald Koeman in the week commencing January 11 to hold discussions about his future, and decide whether or not it rests on the south coast.
This immediately piqued the interest of Manchester United, with Louis Van Gaal and the club’s chief executive, Ed Woodward, having made it known that they would like to purchase Mane last summer. Manchester United, who recorded their first victory in eight games against Swansea over the weekend, have been criticized by the media and their fans because of the complete lack of pace in their side, and it’s widely believed that the addition of Sadio Mane to their team would help them exponentially.
But it’s not just Manchester United who are interested in acquiring the services of the fast winger, who last season scored the fastest hat-trick in Premier League history against Aston Villa. Bayern Munich and Chelsea are interested in acquiring the player’s services, and while Southampton is apparently eager for a bid of around £40 million ($59 million) for him, it’s believed that they will ultimately accept a far less amount for him.
Sadio Mane’s current contract with Southampton is only due to expire in 2018, and Southampton is already thought to have been lining up replacements for the tardy winger.
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