Southampton rival Arsenal for signing of Morgan Schneiderlin replacement

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Southampton are preparing for life without Morgan Schneiderlin and have earmarked highly-rated Belgian midfielder Dennis Praet as a potential replacement, Mail Sport reports.

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Schneiderlin is reportedly closing in on a £25m transfer to Manchester United [via Mail Sport] and Saints boss Ronald Koeman doesn’t appear to be wasting much time in his attempts to fill the huge void that will be left by the French international.

His first choice looks to be Anderlecht wonderkid Praet, who is more of an attacking midfielder and is also comfortable on the flanks.

The Mail adds that the 21-year-old is attracting interest from a number of top European clubs including Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich, so Koeman will need to act fast in order to lure the Belgian starlet to the St Mary’s Stadium. Southampton are also likely to face competition for Praet’s signature from two Barclays Premier League heavyweights in Arsenal and Manchester City, who have both been keeping tabs on the midfielder in recent months.

Neither the Gunners or City have announced a summer signing just yet, although both are expected to strengthen their respective squads in order to challenge Chelsea for the title next season.

Southampton, meanwhile, will be hoping for another successful summer after Koeman’s fine work this time last year, with the Dutchman managing to replace a raft of departing star players like Luke Shaw, Adam Lallana and Rickie Lambert with some bargain buys. In the end, despite so many exits, the club still managed to finish 7th in the Premier League, a remarkable achievement.

With the start of the season just over a month away, it appears the transfer window is starting to hot up.

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