Manchester United are reportedly uninterested in pursuing an £18 million transfer of Southampton midfielder Mario Lemina.

ESPN have claimed that Manchester United have ruled out a move for Southampton midfielder Mario Lemina in this summer’s transfer window. The Gabon international is set to depart from St. Mary’s after refusing to go on the Saints’ pre-season tour to Austria and Ireland.

It is becoming a trend of sorts for Mario Lemina, who has only spent two full seasons – no more and no less – with every first-team he has been a part of since leaving Lorient in the summer of 2013. It is at Southampton though, that the 25-year-old has gone some way towards realising his potential.

While his first season did not exactly go to plan, Lemina showed what he is made of last term, having missed just four games when fit and available. However, after two seasons with the Saints, the aforementioned pattern is destined to continue, with Lemina set to call it quits at St. Mary’s, which was said to have piqued the interest of Manchester United.

Left in a limbo? (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

Left in a limbo? (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

While there have been a few glaring issues that are reportedly being addressed by Manchester United this summer, one big problem has largely gone under the radar. Last season showed that Nemanja Matic’s legs are slowing down, with the Serb enduring a hit-and-miss campaign, having been overrun in midfield quite easily at times.

In his stead, Fred and Scott McTominay were deployed as the designated holding midfielders on a few occasions. But, both players seem to flourish elsewhere, which is really compounding the troubles of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. To that end, Lemina could have been a viable target for Manchester United.

A couple of other reasons made him appear to be an attractive proposition, considering he is well settled in England, while his £18 million price tag would have made him a low-risk transfer for Manchester United. But, while a move for Lemina would have made sense, his combative attitude and inconsistencies are issues that need addressing.

Lemina though, can now kiss goodbye to the prospect of joining Manchester United, who have distanced themselves from the idea of a move for the 25-year-old. While ESPN do not mention the Red Devils’ reasons, a report by The Sun claims that United were irked by the fact that they were being used as bait to up his price.

If those claims are indeed true, Manchester United ought to turn their attention elsewhere as signing a successor for Matic should ideally be a priority at a time when they are said to be on the verge of signing Harry Maguire. As for Lemina, he is set to be in a limbo, with his £18 million move to Manchester United now unlikely to materialise.

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