Southampton boss Ronald Koeman has reiterated that Sadio Mane is not for sale amid speculation linking him with a move to Manchester United.
Mane was dropped for Southampton’s game against Norwich recently after failing to make a team meeting on time.
The incident sparked speculation that Mane is unhappy at St Mary’s and links to Man United intensified as a result. However, Koeman insisted he will be back in the side that faces Crystal Palace in the FA Cup on Saturday.
“Mane is not in a different situation now to when it was last week. He is a player of Southampton. He likes to play for Southampton. He is not for sale,” Koeman said.
“We spoke to Sadio, of course. I punished him because we have rules in the team. You have to confirm to those rules.
“He was late. It was a big mistake. He makes his excuse for everybody and that’s now behind and the rest is internal discussions about how we have to handle this kind of situations.
“He will start on Saturday, no problem.”
Mane is an excellent player and one that would provide United with the verve and swagger they have been crying out for this season.
However, Southampton have no reason to sell one of their prize assets mid-season. As with Leicester City’s Riyad Mahrez and Watford’s Odion Ighalo, United will have to wait until the summer if they are to land their top targets. That being said, Mane may force Southampton’s hand if he acts up any more.