Manchester United, Arsenal & Leicester
For the second day running, reports are linking Gabon international midfielder Mario Lemina with a move from Southampton.
25-year-old Lemina is under contract with Southampton until 2022.
However, after two injury-hit seasons on the south coast, Lemina spoke openly about leaving the Saints last weekend.
On Tuesday, reports popped up claiming that Arsenal, Manchester United and Leicester have all made “enquiries” about signing Lemina.
On Wednesday, the Times have followed up on the interest of Man United and Arsenal in the midfielder.
Manchester United have been given permission to speak to Mario Lemina, with Arsenal also interested in the Southampton midfielderhttps://t.co/Mp2RogUNlF
— Times Sport (@TimesSport) July 9, 2019
Mario Lemina signing would signal transfer policy shifts
For the Times, the broadsheet highlights how Mario Lemina’s move to either Man United or Arsenal may raise eyebrows.
Starting with the Red Devils, the case is made that signing Lemina would be a move contrary to the current recruitment stance at Old Trafford:
United have so far turned their back on recruiting ready-made stars in favour of youthful potential in the shape of Aaron Wan-Bissaka, bought from Crystal Palace last month for an initial fee of £47 million, and Daniel James for £15 million from Swansea City.
Lemina, though far more experienced than those players, is viewed as still unproven at the highest level.
Man United fans may also wonder how links to Lemina fit in with ongoing rumours claiming that Man United want to sign Sean Longstaff from Newcastle.
Would Man United move for both midfielders? That feels unlikely.
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As for a move to Arsenal, the Times also point out that Arsene Wenger previously nixed a deal to sign Lemina.
The player had impressed Arsenal scouts and scored highly on the club’s analytical data matrix, but Wenger instead prioritised deals for Alexandre Lacazette and Sead Kolasinac.
Does Unai Emery see something in Lemina which Wenger didn’t?