Mario Lemina

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Man United, Arsenal battle for Mario Lemina

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Southampton’s Mario Lemina probably wasn’t at the top of the list when it came to the names to focus on in the transfer window this summer, but two Premier League giants are battling it out for his signature.

According to a report from the Southern Daily Echo, and since confirmed by multiple outlets across the UK, both Arsenal and Manchester United, as well as Leicester City, have enquired about signing Lemina, 26, with United not yet reaching the fee Saints want.

The Gabonese central midfielder hasn’t gone on Saints’ preseason tour of Austria and has revealed he and his agent have spoken with the club and they’ve agreed he can leave if the right price is agreed for the former Marseille and Juventus man.

Saints paid $20 million for Lemina in the summer of 2017 and it is believed they want to recoup all of that and make a small profit if they sell him this summer. That would be quite a bargain for a player of his quality, as Leicester may now have backed out of any deal due to their permanent signing of midfielder Youri Tielemans. 

Do United or Arsenal need to sign Lemina?

He’s a powerful, skilful central midfielder who has shown flashes of brilliance during the past two seasons at Saints, but there are question marks regarding his fitness and attitude. He missed a large chunk of last season with an abdominal injury and Saints are pretty set in central midfield without him as Oriol Romeu, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and James Ward-Prowse have all impressed under new manager Ralph Hasenhuttl.

In many ways Lemina is the odd man out at Saints, and both United and Arsenal know that which could see them grab a bit of a bargain.

United have lost Ander Herrera but still have the likes of Nemanja Matic, Scott McTominay and Fred in central midfield, while the future of Paul Pogba is up in the air. Arsenal may sell Lucas Torreira this summer, while Matteo Guendouzi, Mohamed Elneny and Granit Xhaka are their other options in the engine room after losing Aaron Ramsey on a free transfer.

So, both clubs could do with an extra body in central midfield.

Lemina has the potential to be a breakout star, if he wants to be. If a move to one of the PL’s top six fires him up, it’s a deal both United and Arsenal should do considering what $30 million buys you in this current transfer market.

Ayoze Perez hat trick leads Newcastle past Southampton (video)

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  • Newcastle now 10 points clear of 18th
  • Perez scores both Magpies goals
  • Southampton five points ahead of drop zone

Ayoze Perez a hat trick as Newcastle United held off Southampton’s second half charge in a 3-1 win at St. James’ Park on Saturday.

Mario Lemina scored a beauty for Saints in a game of high quality goals.

Newcastle goes 12th with 41 points, while Saints remain 16th with 36.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Newcastle wanted a penalty when an early shot from Ayoze Perez was blocked by Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg‘s arm.

Miguel Almiron took a Salomon Rondon flick and hit a wayward cross that Angus Gunn slapped wide of the goal.

The dam burst near the half-hour mark, when Perez scored both of his goals.

The first came with a fine, physical dribble right which the Spaniard punctuated with a hard shot across his body and inside the far post.

Then it was 2-0 within four minutes, Perez sliding onto the end of a Rondon cross to slap the ball inside the goal.

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Saints deserved a goal and nearly had one through Maya Yoshida before Lemina answered the bell.

Off the bench, the ex-Juve midfielder scored from 21 yards after Stuart Armstrong and Nathan Redmond combined to set the table.

But Matt Ritchie‘s diving header was redirected by Perez for an 87th minute insurance goal and the completion of a fine hat trick.

[ MORE: Premier League stats ]

Man Utd comes back to draw Southampton

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  • Armstrong puts Saints up
  • Cedric scores beautiful free kick (video)
  • Lukaku, Herrera level it by halftime

Marcus Rashford set up a pair of goals to answer an early Southampton flurry, as Manchester United drew Saints 2-2 at St. Mary’s on Saturday.

Manchester United pulled into seventh on goals from Romelu Lukaku and Ander Herrera, and will finish the weekend at least six points back of the Top Four.

Cedric Soares and Stuart Armstrong scored for Southampton, who are a point back of 17th place Huddersfield Town.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Saints took the lead in the 13th minute, with 18-year-old Michael Obafemi taking a couple of touches atop the box before finding Armstrong wide for a low drive past David De Gea.

And outstanding free kick put United in real danger, as Cedric Soares dipped a vicious effort over the wall and inside the near post. De Gea was flailing at the effort, and Saints had a 2-0 lead.

Lukaku scored his first goal since mid-September when he burst onto a deft Rashford touch pass to make it 2-1 in the 34th.

And Rashford set up Herrera for a gorgeous back leg finish with a powerful run into the right side of the box.

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Shaw drilled a shot wide of the far post off a 61st minute corner kick as United began to reassert its control of the match.

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg took a long shot that De Gea dove to save in the 75th, a up part of a down half to that point.

Saints had another go from distance via Mario Lemina, with De Gea tipping it over the frame.

Transfer rumor roundup: Schurrle to Fulham, Mignolet for $15m

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Fulham is bringing a familiar name back to London, according to reports.

Andre Schurrle turns 28 this season, and has traveled a bit since leaving Chelsea in 2015.

[ MORE: PST speaks with Sane, Mahrez ]

Most recently, Schurrle scored eight times in 51 matches for Borussia Dortmund, and netted 12 times in a season and a half at Wolfsburg.

Sky Sports says Schurrle has left Dortmund’s American tour to undergo a medical at Fulham.

West Ham may be selling Pedro Obiang with an eye toward a Premier League replacement.

Obiang, 26, has made 67 league appearances in three seasons with the Hammers, but is wanted by Serie A side Sampdoria.

If he skips town, West Ham would like to replace him with Mario Lemina.

The Southampton midfielder has disappointed since heading to St. Mary’s from Juventus. Lemina scored a goal and added an assist in 25 matches with Saints last season.

— Fulham took Besiktas’ goalkeeper, and now the Black Eagles are looking to the Premier League for a replacement.

The Cottagers signed Fabri, and Besiktas is ready to spend $15m to give Simon Mignolet a path away from Anfield.

VIDEO: Mario Lemina scores amazing goal

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Mario Lemina, you are a bad, bad man.

Southampton’s Gabonese midfielder spanked home an unstoppable goal at West Brom on Saturday to equalize in the first half for Saints.

Lemina drilled the ball into the top corner from 25 yards out to stun the Baggies and score his first goal for Saints since his move from Juventus last summer.

Click play on the video above to see a thing of beauty.