Ronald Koeman has revealed that Sadio Mane’s poor attitude over the last week led to two separate incidents.
The 23-year-old winger was left out of Southampton’s squad by Koeman after turning up late to a meeting during the week in the build-up to the Norwich game, leading to heightened speculation linking him with a move to Manchester United.
A damaged relationship between Koeman and Mane would be grounds to intensify those rumours even further and now that we know Mane had to be talked with twice within the space of a week, there are even bigger questions over where his head is at right now.
Koeman was clearly frustrated in Mane’s decision to be late and their relationship will certainly be somewhat edgy from here on in, if only for the time being.
Speaking about the situation, Koeman said: “My message to Sadio two days ago in training was that I didn’t think he was really focused and concentrated,” he added.
“Yes I feel let down by him, but it’s felt much more by his team-mates because we are a club where we like to treat everybody very respectfully and you have responsibilities as a player, to the fans, to your team-mates, to your board, to the technical staff.
“We had a great talk from our chairman on Friday about the club, the team, about the respect, the ambition, the spirit, focus, concentration. And then this happens.”
To an outsider looking in, this Mane situation has all the hallmarks of Marcos Rojo at Sporting Lisbon when he wanted to move but at this stage it hasn’t moved further than words and a poor attitude.
Of course, there could be another explanation but at a time when transfer speculation with Mane is so rife, he would have been well aware of what the consequences of causing problems would be at this time – but it does seem mighty convenient for this to happen right now.