Southampton midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin has risked sending ructions through his in-form side by reiterating his desire to play for a ‘big club’ in an interview in his native France.
However, it seems that more sizeable establishment is unlikely to be oft-touted suitors Arsenal, who remain as long as 4/1 to sign him before September 2015.
Instead the bwin odds gurus foresee a move abroad for the France international, with his post-Southampton future 2/1 to be outside the UK.
Apparently heedless of the effect his words may have on the equilibrium of a Saints team that lie second in the Premier League having won 11 of their last 12 games in all competitions, the 25-year-old told L’Equipe:
“If someone had told me at the end of the transfer window that Southampton would be second, I would not have believed it.
“A career passes quickly and I want to play for a big club. Today I am at Southampton, we are second in the Premier League, it’s going well.
“We’ll see at the end of the season if [a move] will happen. If we have qualified for the Champions League, I will make the choice.”
Schneiderlin does, however, remain a 6/5 favourite be a Southampton player when next summer’s transfer window closes.
This undoubtedly has much to do with the fact that Ronald Koeman’s men are as short as 2/1 joint-fourth favourites to book themselves one of the two Champions League qualifying places not nabbed by Man City or Chelsea this season.
How the Frenchman’s latest verbal indiscretion goes down amongst his teammates remains to be seen, but his importance to the Southampton cause is unquestionable.
He has played in each and every one of their top-flight games this season and leads the side for average passes per game.
Schneiderlin is in the French squad who are 11/50 to best Albania in international friendly action on Friday.