Belfast Telegraph

Ronald Koeman no fears over wanted Southampton

Watford 0-0 Southampton

By Staff Reporter

Ronald Koeman insists that he never had any doubts about playing Sadio Mane or Victor Wanyama against Watford yesterday despite the transfer speculation surrounding the Southampton duo.

Mane and Wanyama both started as Saints were held to a goalless draw at Vicarage Road, although Mane had to be substituted after just 25 minutes with a hip injury.

The Senegalese international has been the subject of interest from Manchester United this summer while Wanyama is reportedly attracting interest from Tottenham ahead of the transfer deadline.

Koeman remains hopeful Mane will be fit in time for the club's Europa League second leg against FC Midtjylland on Thursday and said he had no hesitation about starting either the forward, or Wanyama, against the Hornets.

"No (I had no doubts), speculation doesn't make me change my team," Koeman said.

"It is the feeling I have and the strategy we have as a club. Again, I say nobody is for sale.

"They are Southampton players. That goes for everyone.

"Not just Mane and Victor, everybody."

Mane's fitness will be a concern to Koeman, particularly given the absence of fellow attacking midfielder Dusan Tadic, who remained on the bench against Watford due to a lack of fitness.

Southampton missed the sort of guile against Watford which the Serbian can provide, with Saints now having taken just two points from their opening three league games.

They were arguably fortunate to come away with a draw too as Odion Ighalo and then Etienne Capoue both squandered excellent chances to snatch victory for the home side.

Belfast Telegraph


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