Southampton midfielder Mario Lemina is on the verge of joining Monaco, just one month after being strongly linked with Manchester United.
According to Metro Sport, the Red Devils identified Lemina as a transfer target earlier this summer, but the club ultimately decided against meeting the Saints’ £18 million asking price.
The 25-year-old joined Southampton from Juventus in 2017 and has since racked up 46 Premier League appearances for the club, while also attracting attention from Arsenal.
Lemina is now closing in on a switch to Ligue 1, having agreed on personal terms with Monaco after successful negotiations this week – as per RMC Sport.
The French publication states that Southampton have yet to sanction a prized asset’s departure, but the French club are aiming to secure the Gabon star’s services on a season-long loan with the option to buy.
This latest news may come as a blow to United, who could have launched a fresh approach for Lemina when the English transfer window reopens in the new year.
The ex-Juventus ace now looks set to undertake a new challenge in France, with a Monaco side who are in dire need of extra reinforcements after a poor start to the 2019-20 campaign.
Leonardo Jardim’s men have lost both their opening fixtures 3-0, against Lyon and Metz respectively, with another relegation battle on the cards if they don’t improve quickly.
Lemina has proved himself as a consistent performer in the Premier League and he could help shore up Monaco’s midfield if a deal can be finalised over the next few days.
United, meanwhile, will have to turn their attention to alternative targets in January, as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer looks to guide the club back into the Champions League.