Southampton have turned down a bid from Premier League rivals Manchester United for midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin, according to the club’s manager Ronald Koeman on Monday.
French international Schneiderlin has long been linked with a move to Old Trafford and it has been reported that United had a bid in the region of A?20 million ($31.2 million, 28 million euros) rejected up to two weeks ago.
“Two weeks ago we had a big offer from Man United but it wasn’t enough. It wasn’t serious and no more bids today,” said Koeman.
United boss Louis van Gaal hopes to land Schneiderlin before the club go on their pre-season tour of the United States on July 13.
And it appears that Dutchman Koeman is ready to grant the 25-year-old a move should United match Saints’ valuation of the player.
“Everybody knows the situation of Morgan and if you can get a big move I can understand it,’ Koeman added.
“If there is any business then I hope it will be soon because it is best for the player, best for us and we have to think about ourselves if we sell the player.
“I had a lot of meetings with Morgan – I already had a meeting last week with Morgan – and it is important for the player to do a good pre-season and we will see what happens in the next few days.”
The Frenchman was missing from the squad when Southampton reported back for pre-season training on Monday, but Koeman insists “it wasn’t serious”.
“Morgan was ill but he is coming to training tomorrow and he will travel with the rest of the squad to Austria,” said Koeman ahead of Southampton’s pre-season trip. The Saints play RB Leipzig in the first game of their tour on Wednesday.
“He was not feeling well, so he had contact with the doctor and he stayed at home,” Koeman added.
While Schneiderlin looks set to depart the south coast club, Koeman could also lose the services of Belgian international defender Toby Alderweireld, who was on loan at St Mary’s last season.
Southampton looked set to sign Alderweireld permanently on a A?6.8 million deal after his buy-out clause at parent club Atletico Madrid had allegedly expired.
The Spanish side had the option of paying A?1.5 million to buy back that clause but Southampton insist that Atletico are too late.
“Southampton signed an option for the player and Atletico Madrid is trying to take back the option,” said Koeman.
“In our knowledge this was too late and what happened with Tottenham in the middle, I don’t know.
“The player told us he was very happy about Southampton. We mentioned to the player that we would like to continue and that was the case to Altetico Madrid and what happened after, I don’t know.”
Tottenham are reported to be interested in Alderweireld — and Schneiderlin as well — with English media reporting that a deal was in place to bring him to White Hart Lane for next season.