Arsenal, Man Utd boost as target breaks silence over future

Mario Lemina admits he “wants to leave” Southampton this summer amid links to Arsenal and Manchester United.

Since moving from Juventus in a deal worth £18million two years ago, the Gabon international has struggled to nail down a starting spot on a consistent basis for the Saints.

The 25-year-old made 23 appearances in all competitions for Southampton last season and now Ralph Hasenhuttl has left him out of his squad for the pre-season trip to Austria.

And the Daily Mail claimed on Tuesday that Lemina is ‘heading’ for the exit door with United and the Gunners understood to have made enquiries into his availability.

On his current situation, Lemina told Get French Football News: “I am preparing myself physically at the training centre, with some other players like Charlie Austin and Jordy Clasie.

“I did not join the players on the tour in agreement with the manager. He wants to build his squad with players who want to stay at the club, so he put me to one side. Since last year, I made it clear: I want to leave and go elsewhere this summer.

“I was also very frustrated by my injury which went on for 3 months, so I would really like to discover something else.”

On the potential risks of leaving after an up-and-down season, Lemina added: “I am not scared, I made a decision and I take full responsibility for it. I decided to tell the club representatives that I wanted to leave, there is no turning back.

“There is a risk, of course, but I know that I am capable, I am at 100% and I want to prove that I can come back very quickly to my best level.

“Some clubs will be maybe more prudent, they already know me. Today I am completely back, I have worked a lot. I am ready to move on.”

On whether he wants to stay in the Premier League, he continued: “Certainly it is an exceptionally interesting league.

“The best thing for me would be to stay here, but I don’t close the door on any club, or any country. Today, after 4 months with injury, I am not looking at anyone in particular. I aspire to play in the very biggest clubs, now we will see what is offered to me.

“I made the decision to leave Juventus for Southampton in search of more playing time, and I got it. I made a good impression in England, I received good feedback at a certain point, so I hope that clubs won’t have a short memory.”


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