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Transfer Rater: Eden Hazard to Real Madrid

Football Whispers

Man United target Sadio Mane safe at Southampton after omission - sources

Sadio Mane's future at Southampton will not be affected by his omission from their starting XI for last Saturday's Premier League defeat at Norwich City, a source has told ESPN FC.

Mane, 23, has again been heavily linked with a move to Manchester United in recent days, while sources told ESPN FC in November that Louis van Gaal would be planning a January move for the forward.

Saints boss Ronald Koeman confirmed he "was angry" with the Senegal international after he missed a team meeting ahead of the game at Carrow Road, fuelling rumours that he could be set to leave the club this month.

Yet a source has told ESPN FC that Mane's indiscretion at the Southampton team hotel on Saturday morning has not led to a breakdown in his relationship with Koeman, as a mix-up over the timing of the team meeting was the reason for his absence.

Koeman moved the team gathering forward from its originally scheduled slot, with Mane failing to get the message over the new time, much to the annoyance of the Saints boss.

"He has made a big mistake," Koeman told reporters on Saturday. "He came two hours late to our team meeting. That's impossible. Everyone knows that we have sanctions and that is why I left him out.

"Then you have to make changes in the team, you have to make changes in set pieces and everything. I don't understand the player who is coming late to the last meeting. He needs to be more focused and concentrated."

Mane was informed by his manager to up his intensity ahead of the game at Norwich, and it is believed that Koeman felt he needed to punish the player for this latest timekeeping error in a bid to assert his authority.

The forward, who has scored just three Premier League goals this season, came off the bench to play the final 10 minutes against Norwich, but was unable to prevent his side slipping to a 1-0 defeat.

Victor Wanyama has apologised for his red card against Norwich City.

United's reported interest in Mane remains a point of confusion among the Southampton hierarchy, with reports the Old Trafford club made a bid to sign the forward in the final days of last summer's transfer window proving to be misleading.

Sources have confirmed to ESPN FC that Southampton did not receive any contact from United over a possible deal for Mane last August.

Southampton are also determined to block any potential move for Victor Wanyama in the coming weeks, with ESPN FC sources being told that the red card picked up by the Kenyan midfielder at Norwich last weekend will not encourage the club to part with the 24-year-old any time soon.

Wanyama -- who is being linked with moves to Arsenal and Tottenham -- is reported to have been agitating for a move away from Southampton in the last two transfer windows, but the former Celtic star remains a key member of Koeman's plans for the rest of this season.

Southampton are determined to add to their squad in the January transfer window, with their slide into the bottom half of the Premier League table strengthening their resolve to resist the sale of star players this month.


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