Man United told to dig much deeper if they want Saints star

Big clubs hunting their prized assets is water off a duck’s back to Southampton, who are unsurprisingly looking to eek maximum value out of another targeted star.

Saido Mane’s impactful debut season in English football earned the Senegalese livewire plenty of plaudits and when the summer rolled around Manchester United showed their hand.

Louis van Gaal was clearly a massive admirer of the forward his compatriot Ronald Koeman had plucked from Red Bull Salzburg for what is now looking a snip at £11.4m.

Supplying the Saints with a goal every three games in the top flight last season saw his value soar, but when United came sniffing, the South Coast club were understandably stubborn in wishing to hold onto Mane.

Rather than Van Gaal’s interest dissipate however, rumours are intensifying that the Dutchman will resume his pursuit of the forward in January, with a figure of around £20m being readied.

According to the Telegraph, though, Southampton would not even consider a bid in that region for the 23 year old, with the paper suggesting that fee would have to be doubled at least.

Having been forced to wave goodbye to star midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin this summer, the Saints boss will be very reluctant to harm his season’s ambitions any further by seeing Mane head the same way.

Southampton have become experts at cultivating talent before selling it on above the odds as the likes of Liverpool, who famously took Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana and Dejan Lovren in the same window for a combined £50m, have the funds to be exploited.

There is no onus on the St Mary’s outfit to sell their best players mid-season, when they know they can always cash in during summer transfer windows, giving them more time to rebuild.

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