According to a report from the Daily Mail, the chances of Southampton recouping a considerable chunk of the £18.1 million that they spent on Mario Lemina have increased with four clubs battling to sign the midfielder in the final stages of the European window.
Lemina's future appears to lie away from St Mary's, with Ralph Hasenhuttl leaving the Gabon international out of his plans during pre-season and then not picking him for either of the Saints' opening two games of the new campaign.
The Daily Mail reports that Monaco had looked set to win the race to sign him on loan with an obligation to buy, but Roma, Lyon and Celta Vigo are all interested and could look to capitalise while the Principality club are yet to finalise the move.
The report notes that having four teams in the running to sign Lemina is going to increase the likelihood of a bidding war ensuing, which in turn, should ensure that the Saints are not making a huge loss on the 25-year-old when he comes to leave the south coast permanently.
It is not a huge surprise that Hasenhuttl has not found a place for Lemina in his plans. The former Juventus man arguably has the talent to be one of the most influential players in the Southampton squad.
However, the Saints fans have only been treated to glimpses of that talent during his time in the Premier League. He, unfortunately, has been a player that has had a tendency to go missing in games, and Hasenhuttl may perhaps feel that he cannot rely on him enough.
It would be interesting however, to know whether the Southampton fans have a different feeling about the prospect of Lemina leaving now that they have been beaten in both of their opening games.
They were a lot better against Liverpool last weekend and are arguably stronger in the middle of the park than in any other position. But Lemina is definitely a talented player - and that point is highlighted by the calibre of the clubs still reportedly chasing his signature.
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