Ronald Koeman has advised Victor Wanyama to heed advice from former team-mate Morgan Schneiderlin and stop trying to force a move away from Southampton.
The south coast club barely noticed his absence as they comprehensively beat Norwich for their first Premier League win of the season they so desperately needed.
Wanyama has handed in a transfer request, hoping to ensure a move to Tottenham before the transfer window closes, and told Koeman in a meeting on Friday he was not in the right frame of mind to play for the club. It is believed Tottenham have made a bid of £18million plus Erik Lamela for the midfielder.
Despite Koeman on Sunday dismissing Wanyama’s attempts to leave, talks took place on Saturday with Spurs hopeful a deal worth £18m with the addition of Erik Lamela on loan could get the move over the line.
Juventus are interested in Argentine Lamela, but they appear willing to wait until the summer meaning his services could be farmed out.
With Saints short of players, Koeman is not willing to part with talent just yet and has pointed out the situation last summer with Schneiderlin, who kicked up an almighty fuss when Tottenham wanted to sign him. He ended up staying, playing tremendously and earning a move to Manchester United a year later.
Koeman said: “It was important to play with players who are really committed to the team and really focused. The situation of Victor is he has lost some focus to the club and that was the reason I took finally to keep him out of the squad.
“It’s the same question as what it was for Sadio Mane or for every player in this team. Nobody is for sale. That’s an easy answer and the players have to accept that. Maybe it’s good for Victor to talk to Morgan. Because Morgan I think is more happy now than he was last year.”
The contrast in attitudes to Mane and Wanyama upon being told they are to stay were laid bare in the match against Norwich. Wanyama sat out, while Manchester United target Mane set up all three goals.
They were helped no end by Steven Whittaker’s dismissal after half-an-hour for two needless yellow cards in a short space time.
He stopped Matt Target taking a quick throw-in first of all, then brought down Tadic as he ran on to a ball over the top which he was never going to reach.
“He’s tried to tug him back, which was a silly decision,’ manager Alex Neil said. “I didn’t feel he needed to, the ball was running through to John Ruddy. Sometimes they get let go.
“I was a bit disappointed with the first one. The lad’s tried to take it quickly, Steven’s trying to recover his position and stop him taking a quick throw. In some games no-one bothers with them. Up until then we hadn’t played well anyway.”
Sighs were building around St Mary’s as the home side failed to put the finishing touches to their increasingly frequent chances, until Pelle finally broke the deadlock in first-half stoppage time.
Mane passed inside from the right and the striker held off Russell Martin and swept the ball in at the near post.
Tadic, who has been suffering from a fatigue problem, was back in the starting line-up and made a huge difference to Southampton’s incisiveness.
“He made the difference in the team, with Sadio,’ Koeman added. ‘We need those kinds of players to break the game open. He is creative, good crosses, good football. A clever boy. I’m happy about his performance.”
Dusan Tadic scored a brace and was a standout performer for Saints, along with Mane, on Sunday
“It was not only Tadic on the left side, but Sadio on the right. We have some good attacking football. With Sadio, if he takes up good positions at the right time and moment he can play and run. He’s a very good player.”
Norwich goalkeeper Ruddy pulled off two saves from powerful efforts by Mane and Jay Rodriguez, on at half-time, but he was eventually beaten on 64 minutes for the second.
Mane found Tadic with a low ball from the right, straight through Norwich’s defense, and the Serbian converted at the back post.
His second came three minutes later. Mane — there again — crossed, Ruddy somehow tipped Pelle’s powered header to the side, but Tadic tapped in from two yards out.
All the talk ahead of kick off had been Wanyama’s omission. Instead, Mane was given a standing ovation as he left the field with 10 minutes to play and the Kenyan midfielder had already been forgotten about.
-By Sam Cunningham for Daily Mail online