Southampton midfielder Mario Lemina has told France Football that he hopes to leave St Mary’s during the summer transfer window.
Lemina arrived at Southampton in 2017 from Juventus and has now confirmed that his intention was only to stay for two years.
The Gabon international intends to honour those plans and seems almost certain to leave the club this summer.
He told France Football: “I had decided to go to Southampton for two years and see if I could take another step. This was agreed with the sports director. I do not want to go further with Southampton.
“I stand by my plan, I decided to tell the leaders that I want to leave and there is no turning back. Of course, there is a risk but I am ready to move on.”
This news offers both Arsenal and Manchester United a huge boost in their quest to land the combative midfielder.
Lemina missed a large chunk of last season with an abdominal strain but did return towards the end of the campaign.
A move to Manchester United will probably depend on Paul Pogba’s future. The Frenchman has been linked with a move away from the club and Lemina is in a similar mould.
Arsenal are working with a restricted budget so Southampton could pull the strings on that one. The Saints will be under no illusions that the Gunners will want to try and land him on the cheap and could hold them at ransom.
Ralph Hasenhuttl has worked wonders so far at St Mary’s and 2019/20 looks like being an exciting time.
If the man paid £65k-a-week, according to Spotrac, does leave he will certainly need replacing, but the Austrian head coach will only want players who want to remain at the club as part of his plans going forward.