Former Southampton striker James Beattie believes it is vital for the club to keep Sadio Mane this season, amid speculation linking the talented forward with a move to Manchester United.
The Senegal international was outstanding during his debut campaign at St. Mary's last term, scoring ten goals in 34 games following his arrival from Red Bull Salzburg - including a hat-trick in less than three minutes against Aston Villa.
Manchester United's unsuccessful pursuit of now-Chelsea winger Pedro has seen the Old Trafford hierarchy turn their attention to Mane, according to the Guardian, but Beattie has urged the Saints to resist the Red Devils' advances.
"It’s very important for the club to keep him," the former club favourite told talkSPORT. "You never want to sell your best players and Mane is certainly is at Southampton."
"He can influence games. He’s very off the cuff, quick and direct and defenders don’t like that."
"Hanging on to your top players is nearly at the top of the list for every club, and it was Koeman who brought him in, so he won’t want to lose him on that account too."
Mane has featured on two occasions for the Saints this season but has been unable to guide his side to a first three points, as of yet.
He has fashioned two key passes as well as five attempts at goal - 40 per cent were accurate. Meanwhile, he has complete five take ons and won a further five free-kicks for Ronald Koeman's men.
Following his from last season, Mane would undoubtedly prove a huge loss to the South Coast club and Southampton fans will no doubt be hopeful of retaining his services. For some, September 2nd cannot come soon enough.