Galatasaray president Mustafa Cengiz has revealed that the club are unlikely to pursue the permanent signature of Mario Lemina from Southampton this summer. The Gabon international spent the 2019/2020 campaign on loan with the Turkish Super Lig outfit and he was handed the captain’s armband during the final stages of the season.
Despite this, it appears that he is not in the plans of the Istanbul giants next term and that could be primarily due to the financial impact of missing out on Champions football. Galatasaray had won back-to-back titles under manager Fatih Terim, but last season was a huge disappointment as they finished a lowly sixth in the standings.
As a result, they will ply their trade in the Europa League and will need to beat three teams in order to reach the competition’s group stage. In a recent interview, Cengiz confirmed that the club have no plans to re-sign the former Juventus midfielder, he told: “Lemina served us, but he’s not in the plans of our technical staff for next season.”
Lemina will make the return to Southampton after turning out for Galatasaray on 28 occasions. He was deemed surplus to requirements at the south Coast outfit last summer and it’s likely that the Saints will offload him to the highest bidder this time around. He is currently contracted to the Saints until the summer of 2022.
Meanwhile, the Saints have been active during the opening stages of the summer transfer window and they have already purchased Mohammed Salisu and Kyle Walker-Peters from Real Valladolid and Tottenham Hotspur respectively. The club are likely to continue their spending over the next few weeks with the onus on finishing in the top half of the table at least next term.
The Saints were in stupendous form on the road during the previous campaign and they had the third-best away record with 31 points accumulated from 19 matches. However, their form at St. Mary’s was disappointing with just 21 points and that constituted the second worst home tally among the Premier League teams. Ralph Hasenhüttl will be hoping for an improvement on that next season.