Think I’m talking about Schneiderlin? Think again.
Late on Wednesday night the Metro linked Arsenal with a summer move for Southampton’s 22 year old Sengalese winger Sadio Mane.
Sadio Mane signed for Southampton last summer in a £13.2m deal from RB Salzburg and has impressed in the Premiership scoring 6 goals and providing three assists.
He also won Man of the Match for his performance against Chelsea earlier this week and scored a blinder against Arsenal earlier this season:
But what about this talk of an Arsenal move?
Well, I have to admit that I’m slightly confused as to the initial source of the report.
The Metro link to this article from TuttoMercato as the report they are basing their article on but then TuttoMercato state in their report that they got their information from the Daily Mail and despite searching, I can’t find the initial article mentioning Arsenal’s interest.
That’s not to say it doesn’t exist, but it might have just been a casual mention in a Southampton article instead of a full report.
Mane is under contract with Southampton until 2018, so unless he has a buyout clause (like Wilfired Bony did upon arriving in England with Swansea) he would not be a cheap acquisition for any club.
The Metro make the point that Sadio Mane would be a cheaper alternative to Theo Walcott and whilst wage-wise he certainly would be, the simple fact is that signing Walcott to a new deal would not require a large initial outlay.
A lot of Premiership clubs will be increasingly aware of what Sadio Mane can do but there will only be a handful that can afford him. Arsenal are one of them.
I’m yet to see anything to suggest that Arsenal have a genuine interest and are looking to make a firm offer, but they’ll definitely be keeping an eye on him as his width and pace could prove to be a real asset for the club.
From memory, this is the first real ‘Walcott replacement’ transfer link this time around and given his contract situation, its unlikely to be the last.
Stay tuned for another Walcott-heavy summer.