We have noticed you are using an ad blocker
To continue providing news and award winning journalism, we rely on advertising revenue.
To continue reading, please turn off your ad blocker or whitelist us.
Southampton manager Ronald Koeman has warned Sadio Mane and Victor Wanyama that he will sit them "in the stands" if they force a January move away from the club. The duo were linked with exits during the summer transfer window and the reaction of the Dutch boss comes after reports claimed both Chelsea and Manchester United are trying to lure Mane away from the Saints again.
Reports during the summer of 2015 claimed United launched a £20m ($29m) bid to secure his services after seeing Pedro Rodriguez move to Chelsea. The Daily Mirror claimed earlier in January that the Premier League giants made a new attempt to secure the 23-year-old Senegal international with the hopes of getting a £30m deal done but Southampton immediately rejected it, insisting the player is not for sale.
Koeman appeared to increase speculation after he dropped the forward for the Premier League defeat at Norwich City on 2 January, after he arrived late to a team meeting. But the manager said this has not changed the situation, insisting the player is not for sale while warning him and Wanyama against trying to force a move away.
"The players know their position in the club and what we think of the players, I don't have doubt about that," Koeman said, as quoted by Sky Sports. "If there is any player who thinks if his behaviour is not good that makes it easier for him, then I will put the player in the stands until the end of the contract because that's the not the way you do your job as a footballer.
"What happened last week, it gave the press something to write about. Sadio's situation is no different to last week. He is a Southampton player, he likes to play for Southampton, he is not for sale."
The manager claimed Mane had already apologised over his behaviour and therefore will regain his place in the line-up for the FA Cup tie against Crystal Palace on 9 January.
He said: "We spoke to him. I punished him because we have rules in the team and he was late, it was a big mistake. He said sorry to everybody and that's now behind us. The rest is just internal discussions about how we handle this kind of situation. He will start Saturday no problem. It's too easy to mention after the mistake of Sadio or Victor to say they want to move. That's too easy. It's not like that."