Sadio Mane’s Liverpool exit looks inevitable as forward skips media after Champions League final… with Reds waiting for answer on his future and giving suitors including Bayern Munich £35m price tag to sign him
Liverpool will only consider a future without Sadio Mane if any clubs are prepared to pay more than £35m for the Senegal star.
Reports emerged on Saturday that Mane is ready to bring the curtain down on his time on Merseyside in the pursuit of a new challenge.
Bayern Munich, as Sportsmail reported on May 10, are keen to sign the 30-year-old and he is intrigued by a move to Germany.
Sadio Mane (left) suffered frustration as Liverpool lost to Real Madrid in the Champions League
The winger was part of a trophy tour in Liverpool on Sunday but his future at Anfield is unclear
This situation, however, is complex. Mane had said at press day ahead of the Champions League final that he was going to give ‘a very good answer’ about his future after the game against Real Madrid but would not speak about it last week as his focus was on Paris.
Mane, though, did not make his way through the mixed zone in the early hours of Sunday morning and Liverpool officials were taken aback by reports that he has made his decision about what his next move will be. He has yet to tell them officially about his intentions.
It is becoming increasingly clear, however, that a parting of the ways seems inevitable.
Mane joined Liverpool in June 2016 and, since then, has won six major medals, including the Premier League and Champions League, plus also finished as a joint-winner of the Golden Boot.
Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich have spoken about Mane being their key transfer target
But it was revealing to hear Jurgen Klopp say at his pre-match press conference on Friday that ‘wherever Sadio plays next season, he will be an important player’ rather than shooting down questions about his future.
During the clash with Madrid, he looked the man most likely to find a way through from Liverpool and many will wonder how the contest would have transpired had Thibaut Courtois not got his fingertips to a 20th minute shot from Mane, rather than turning it onto the post.
He has been in the form of his life in 2022, helping Senegal win the Africa Cup of Nations and qualify for the World Cup, and for that reason Liverpool are adamant he will not leave unless any interested party comes up with a fee beyond the £30m it cost to take him from Southampton.
Madrid, ironically, were always eager to sign Mane when Zinedine Zidane was manager but Liverpool always withstood interest and reward him with a new contract in 2019 but that deal runs out next June and it now seems the point they will cash in.
Reds manager Jurgen Klopp has not dispelled speculation that Mane is about to leave the club
Barcelona have also been linked with Mane but the timing of Bayern’s links to Liverpool’s No 10 have always seemed significant and with doubts about whether Robert Lewandowski will remain in Bavaria, they believe the former Red Bull Salzburg forward would be an outstanding addition.
Clearly, there are some big decisions for Klopp to make – James Milner is out of contract, there are doubts about Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s future, while Mohamed Salah, Naby Keita and Roberto Firmino are all entering the last year of their deals – but events in Paris are still raw.
‘We’ve had this feeling before and reacted in the right way,’ said Jordan Henderson. ‘Hopefully we can do the same again, I’m sure we will.
‘The mentality and character within the dressing room is outstanding. Yes we are disappointed and it’s hard because we have such a long time to think.
‘But I can say we’ve given absolutely everything all season and sometimes you can’t do more than that.
‘Football’s fine margins, that’s the way it is. We have to deal with that and use it in the right way and use it to go forward and be stronger and better next season.’