Football: Southampton resigned to losing Morgan Schneiderlin - but will demand £27m

Tottenham's Nacer Chadli (right) in action with Southampton's Morgan Schneiderlin.
Tottenham's Nacer Chadli (right) in action with Southampton's Morgan Schneiderlin.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (GUARDIAN) - Ronald Koeman is resigned to the departure of Morgan Schneiderlin before the start of the season though the Southampton manager has warned Manchester United the France international will not be signed on the cheap.

Schneiderlin, who was absent through illness at his club's Staplewood training base on Monday but is due to travel with the squad for their get-together in Austria, was the subject of a £20 million (S$42 million) bid from United two weeks ago.

That offer was rejected but Southampton are prepared for a second bid.

United want to secure Schneiderlin before their tour to the United States and for which they depart on 13 July but will have to up their bid to nearer £27 million to stand any chance of securing the 25-year-old midfielder.

Said Koeman: "Every player has his price and we have experience as a club of selling players. Last season we sold some players, and if there is interest in Morgan then okay.

"But it has to be at the price the club wants. He is one of the key players or our team, an international player. And I don't think is a problem for Manchester United."

Asked if he was planning for the campaign ahead with Schneiderlin in the ranks, Koeman said: "No. I know the situation. I have spoken a lot with Morgan. Last season we finally said: 'Stop all this business because we are not selling any more players' (after Adam Lallana, Dejan Lovren and Rickie Lambert had been sold).

"That was difficult for him but he came back after a few days with good motivation and had a great season. But we know the situation now. There is a lot of interest in the player. With a club like United, we know it's difficult to keep the player. But if they pay, then OK, we can make the transfer."

Koeman has already pinpointed the Feyenoord midfielder, Jordy Clasie, as a replacement for the Frenchman should agreement be struck with United.

Said the Dutch coach: "He's a good player, a young player and a Dutch international who is ready to make a step up and show his qualities at a higher level than we have in the Dutch league.

"He's growing in his leadership qualities too and, if Morgan goes, we'll need a player in that position. He is one of them (on the list of potential replacements)."