Southampton boss Ronald Koeman has warned his players that they will be made to sit “in the stands” if they attempt to force through moves in the January transfer window.
Sadio Mane and Victor Wanyama have been linked with moves to Manchester United and Arsenal, respectively.
Mane was late for a team meeting prior to Southampton’s clash against Norwich City last week, leading to rumours that he is unhappy at St Mary’s. However, Koeman insisted he would rather exile a player who wants to leave rather than sell.
“If there is any player thinking if his behaviour is not good that makes it more easier for the player, then I’ll put the player in the stands until the end of their contract,” Koeman said.
“In my opinion that’s not the way you have to do your job as a football player.”
While Man United are crying out for a player of Mane’s qualities, it is admirable to hear that Southampton are digging their heels in over his future.
Players find it far too easy to leave simply by acting up. United have experienced it themselves – Cristiano Ronaldo’s transfer to Real Madrid and Angel di Maria’s switch to Paris Saint-Germain spring to mind. It looks as if United will have to wait to the summer to continue their pursuit of Mane.