Midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin is unlikely to be involved in Saints’ trip to Brighton tonight – but only because of fitness reasons.
Saints visit the Amex Stadium this evening for their penultimate friendly of the summer, with French star Schneiderlin back among the squad after returning to Southampton this week.
The 24-year-old is unhappy after being informed that he will not be allowed to leave St Mary’s, like Rickie Lambert, Luke Shaw, Adam Lallana, Dejan Lovren and Calum Chambers before him.
Schneiderlin issued a message via Twitter on Tuesday night, saying the “amazing journey”
he had been on with Saints in the last six years had been “destroyed”.
That followed a meeting that is understood to have taken place with the club’s board, in which he was informed he would not be sold.
Chairman Ralph Krueger also told the Daily Echo that neither Schneiderlin nor fellow Tottenham target Jay Rodriguez would be allowed to depart.
Schneiderlin reported to the club’s training ground as normal yesterday morning, where he spoke with Koeman.
It was alleged in some sections of the media that he had also handed in a transfer request, although sources at St Mary’s and close to Schneiderlin indicated that was not true.
As far as the club is concerned, Schneiderlin, left, remains available to be used as manager Ronald Koeman sees fit, after being informed he is an integral part of the Dutchman’s plans for the campaign.
However, having only just started his preseason preparations, after a late return date due to his involvement with the France squad that reached the quarter- finals of the World Cup, Schneiderlin is unlikely to be ready for action this evening.
Saints boss Koeman will make a final decision today on whether he will travel, though.
Tonight’s fixture promises to be Saints’ toughest test of preseason so far, against a Brighton side that reached the Championship playoffs last term.
Saints have already played games against Dutch amateurs EHC Hoensbroek, Belgian minnows Sporting Hasselt, League One outfit Swindon Town and Championship team Bournemouth – winning all four games without conceding a goal.
After tonight’s match, the only game left on the schedule before the Premier League kicks-off is a meeting with German club Bayer Leverkusen at St Mary’s on Saturday, August 9.