Sadio Mane is expected to notify Liverpool of his wish to depart this summer, according to GOAL, with Bayern Munich leading the battle to sign the Senegal international.
After spending the previous six years on Merseyside, the 30-year-old is said to be ready for a fresh challenge, and he intimated before the Champions League final that an announcement on his future was close.
Mane did not speak to the media after Liverpool’s 1-0 loss to Real Madrid in Paris on Saturday night, as promised, but insiders have informed GOAL that he is more likely to leave Anfield and that Bayern Munich are the frontrunners to recruit him.
What is the current status of Mane and Liverpool?
Mane, like Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino, is due to reach the last year of his contract with Liverpool, and talks regarding a new contract were put on hold some time ago.
The Reds have a solid connection with the player’s agent, Bjorn Bezemer, and had intended to discuss Mane’s future at the conclusion of the season.
However, suggestions of Bayern Munich’s interest – and a possible meeting between Bezemer and Hasan Salihamidzic, the German club’s sports director – have not gone down well at Anfield.
Club insiders are said to be unhappy with the timing of such claims, which came at a time when Liverpool was chasing success on numerous fronts. Mane’s form has been excellent, but the talk has been considered an unpleasant distraction, with Jurgen Klopp giving a thinly disguised criticism of Bayern in his pre-Champions League final news conference.
Is Mane on the verge of joining Bayern Munich?
There has been no official bid from the Bundesliga champions at this time, and Liverpool insiders say that any sum for Mane would be far more than the €30 million (£25 million/$32 million) number that has been frequently mentioned.
Liverpool would also want to have a successor lined up before selling, with Mane still a crucial player in the club despite adding Luis Diaz from Porto in January.
Mane scored 22 goals in all competitions this season, his form especially strong after returning from the Africa Cup of Nations when he guided Senegal to victory in Cameroon.
How might Mane’s departure be received by Liverpool fans?
Fans will be concerned about Mane’s possible departure, even though Salah’s immediate future was allayed last week when the Egyptian said he will “for sure” stay at the club for another year.
Mane has had a major effect since joining Liverpool from Southampton in 2016. He has 120 goals in 268 games with the Reds, playing in every forward position, and won every major club award available during that time.
Liverpool have already begun to plan for the future with the purchase of Diaz, who has had an excellent start to life on Merseyside, but they would need to make another exceptional signing to fill the void left by Mane’s departure.