Morgan Schneiderlin wants Champions League football next season
Morgan Schneiderlin has told L'Equipe he does not want to miss out on Champions League football next season but did not rule out the prospect that he could play in the competition with Southampton.
Schneiderlin, 25, wanted to join the exodus of established first-teamers leaving Southampton last summer, but was told he would have to remain at St. Mary's.
The France international midfielder is expected to attract further interest at the end of the season, but Schneiderlin has not ruled out remaining at Southampton if Ronald Koeman's side can finish in the top four and qualify for the Champions League this season.
"In August, I wanted to take a step up, but the club had let too many players leave to accept to sell me," the former Strasbourg man said. "Since, I have talked to the board, and I want to play at a higher level -- it's important, at 25, to finally discover the Champions League."
Southampton are currently sixth in the Premier League table, six points off the top four with eight games remaining, and Schneiderlin added: "At the end of the season, Southampton could qualify for the Champions League and I could also stay. Who knows? But I no longer want to be in front of my TV on Tuesdays and Wednesdays."
Schneiderlin will get an opportunity to showcase his abilities on Thursday as he is likely to be given the holding role in France's three-man midfield for their friendly with Brazil, with Yohan Cabaye out through injury.
After representing his country at under-21 level, Schneiderlin had to wait four years before stepping up to the senior side, making his debut just before last summer's World Cup and then travelling to Brazil as part of Didier Deschamps' squad.
Though he made just one appearance during Les Bleus' journey to the quarterfinals, Schneiderlin has since increased his tally of caps to seven, and he said his status as an international has had an impact, not least on the size of the transfer fee Southampton could command for him.
"It's not me who establishes the price, but that's the reality," he said.
On whether opponents have also taken notice, he said: "Yes, they have a different attitude, but that is more linked to my performances in the league, I think. Sometimes, opposing teams man-mark me, and that's a mark of respect. They did that less before."