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Southampton manager admits club face battle to keep Morgan Schneiderlin

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It's unclear at this early stage to just what extent Chelsea may or may not be interested in Southampton's midfielder extraordinaire Morgan Schneiderlin, but considering that the 25-year-old could probably walk into any midfield in Europe except maybe Juventus's, we probably should have our ears to the ground on this one.  You know that Arsenal, Manchester United, and Spurs will, for sure.  It was Spurs (and Mauricio Pochettino), after all, who got stood up at the altar last summer when So'ton blocked Schneiderlin's move to London to follow his old manager.

While his feathers were eventually unruffled and he committed to the Saints' cause for the season, he has recently made it clear once again that he wants Champions League football and that's not looking likely for Southampton next season.  His current manager also realizes the reality of the situation.

"It will be hard when there is real interest in the player. It is up to the player what he likes to do."

"It is very hard but normally if we have the season like we have so far there will be interest in the players of Southampton. If he gets a big offer from a big team, there is always interest for the player and I understand that. That is normal, we know our level and that is a compliment for the players and the club."

-Ronaldo Koeman; source: Star

Sure, that's a fairly standard response, but it's a drastic change in tone from last summer and the winter transfer window as well, when Koeman firmly denied any and all intent of selling.

With Southampton already starting to come to terms with Schneiderlin's departure, this could easily turn into a bidding war.  I've seen prices anywhere from £20-27m, but it could very well climb higher from there.  Stay tuned!