Southampton have given Manchester United permission to negotiate a possible transfer with Mario Lemina, according to a report from The Times.
The Red Devils are believed to be among a raft of clubs who are pursuing a deal for the Saints midfielder, who is set to leave the club this summer after falling out of favour under Ralph Hasenhuttl.
Lemina was excluded from the manager’s squad that flew out to Austria to further their pre-season preparations on Monday, affording the Gabon international the chance to pursue an exit.
The 25-year-old joined in a deal worth around £18.5 million from Juventus in 2017, and as per The Times, Southampton want to sell him for at least the aforementioned fee this summer.
Arsenal and Leicester City have both also expressed an interest in signing Lemina, but Manchester United seem to be pushing to secure his services.
Southampton appear to be hoping to trim the squad of its fringe players in a bid to generate further funds ahead of the final month of the summer transfer window.
Five players whose futures at Southampton are uncertain
Cedric is out in Austria with the squad despite being sent out on loan in January. Whether or not he will be a Southampton player come the opening day of the season remains to be seen.
Hoedt is another who was loaned out but has been taken by Hasenhuttl to Austria. He has been abysmal for Southampton, but could he be given a second chance?
Stephens is another who has been extremely poor in recent seasons. However, he could yet remain at Southampton.
Boufal recently blazed a penalty over the bar in a shootout as Morocco exited the Africa Cup of Nations to Benin. His future at St Mary’s Stadium is uncertain.
McCarthy is currently set to be the backup goalkeeper heading into the season. However, if a reasonable offer comes in, it would come as no surprise to see him leave.