Sadio Mane
Sadio Mane has emerged as a target for Manchester United Getty Images

Manchester United have stepped up their interest in signing Sadio Mane in January, with the Senagalese forward falling out with Southampton manager Ronald Koeman, ahead of their loss to Norwich City at Carrow Road. The forward was left out of the squad as he reported late for a team meeting, with the Dutchman, unwilling to let players with disciplinary issues run scot-free.

The Mirror reported that Wayne Rooney's return to goalscoring ways against Swansea City had no effect on Manchester United's transfer plans for January, who are still in the market for a forward to help liven up their attack. Mane, who is rated at £25m ($37m), is a priority target for Louis van Gaal and his recent altercation with the Southampton manager will only help raise the belief that United can land him in the current transfer window.

"My last message to him was that he needed to be concentrated and focused. You have a responsibility as a player not just to me as the manager, but your teammates, fans and the technical staff to show respect," Koeman said about Mane after the game. "I am angry about players who are not focused and concentrated and that is even more disappointing than the result today. It is not the first time this has happened."

The report also suggested that United's management would back Van Gaal financially to turn around the club's prospects this season, with the manager in the market to replenish his defence. Following injuries to Luke Shaw, Marcos Rojo, Antonio Valencia and Phil Jones, the Red Devils defence has been weak.

Moreover, the Dutchman wants to add pace and creativity to the squad and is of the view that Mane, who has had an illustrious two years at Southampton, would fit his lineup. The Red Devils have been heavily linked with a move for Felipe Anderson, but Mane has proved his worth in the Premier League, which could be the decisive factor in the second half of the season.