Southampton's Mario Lemina wants Premier League move after Manchester United enquiry
Last Updated: 10/07/19 3:34pm
Mario Lemina has confirmed he wants to leave Southampton this summer and hopes he can move to another team in the Premier League.
Lemina has been given permission to speak to other clubs by Southampton, having not been included on their pre-season training camp in Austria.
"I am physically preparing myself at the training centre, with a few other players including Charlie Austin and Jordy Clasie," Lemina told France Football.
"I did not accompany the team in training in agreement with the coach. He 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 was also very frustrated by my injury that lasted four months (an abdominal injury kept him out from December 30 to April 20), so I really want to discover something else."
Southampton are aware of interest from a number of other clubs in Lemina, who has made 46 Premier League appearances and scored two goals for the Saints since arriving from Juventus in 2017.
Manchester United have made an enquiry into signing Lemina and the Gabon international says remaining in England is his preference.
Lemina said: "[The Premier League] is a very interesting league. The best for me would be to stay there, but I do not close the door to any club, nor country.
"Today, after four months of injury, I am not targeting anything in particular. I aspire to play for the biggest clubs, now we will see what happens.
"I had chosen to leave Juventus for Southampton to have more play time, I got it. I made a good impression in England, I had good returns at a certain time, so I hope clubs will not have a short memory."
Due to his injury, Lemina did not play too many times under Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl, who succeeded Mark Hughes in December.
But Hasenhuttl still made a positive impression on Lemina, who says Southampton are in good hands with the Austrian in charge.
"I am very optimistic for the club because [Hasenhuttl] is really a good coach," Lemina said.
"We had a long discussion on his arrival. He was expecting a lot from me because I was one of the most influential players on the team. After that I had that long injury, so I really could not work with him.
"When he arrived, he built a team that I was not part of and that worked well at the end of the season, so I do not see why he would change it.
"But it is not down to the coach. I had just decided to go to Southampton for two years, and see if I could take another step. We had agreed with the sports director.
"The injury arrived late December, it slowed me down, it's a shame, but I do not want to go further with Southampton. I prefer that we stay on good terms, faithful to what we said."