MARIO Lemina has joined Turkish side Galatasaray on a season-long loan.

The transfer brings an end to the saga that has been dragging on since he outlined his desire to leave Saints at the beginning of July.

Despite initially attracting interest from Premier League sides Manchester United and Arsenal, the Gabon international will now ply his trade in Turkey.

Galatasaray, who also signed former Manchester United striker Radamel Falcao over the weekend, have got the option to sign Lemina permanently next summer.

Saints signed the 25-year-old midfielder for £15m from Juventus back in 2017, with him going onto make 49 appearances for the St Mary’s side, scoring once.

However, at the end of last season, Lemina started angling for a move away from Saints which led to him being exiled from first team duties and their dressing room.

He didn’t help his situation with manager Ralph Hasenhuttl by giving an explosive interview to France Football.

Speaking to the French publication, Lemina said: "He [Hasenhuttl] wants to build his group with the players who want to stay at the club, so he left me out. 

"As early as last year, I had set my conditions: I wanted to go elsewhere this summer.

"I had just decided to go to Southampton for two years and see if I could then take another step. 

"I’m not afraid, I made a choice and I take it to the end. I stand by my plan, I decided to tell the leaders that I wanted to leave, there is no turning back.”

His 2018/19 campaign at Saints was hampered by an abdomen injury that required surgery in December.

Lemina didn’t return to the first team until April when he came on and netted his only goal for the club against Newcastle.