Sadio Mane has decided to leave Liverpool this summer after six brilliant seasons at Anfield, according to multiple reports out of the UK one day after the Reds were beaten by Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League final.
Mane, 30, has reportedly told his Liverpool teammates he will be leaving the club this summer with just one year remaining on his current contract. He will reportedly formally inform the club of his decision in the coming days.
UPDATE (June 7): Liverpool have reportedly rejected Bayern Munich’s opening bid of $5 million (plus $26 million in add-ons). The Bundesliga giants believe Mane can be had for less than $53 million this summer.
If he does indeed transfer elsewhere this summer, Sadio Mane will finish his Liverpool career with 192 goals in 454 games (all competitions), including 144 in 348 in the Premier League. Not a bad return on a $43-million initial investment.
Mohamed Salah announced earlier this week that, despite also having just one year remaining on his contract, he will stay at Liverpool next season. To public knowledge, there have been no (new) negotiations between the sides over a new deal.
It was always expected that one of the Reds’ superstars would depart Anfield this summer, with both running out of contract and the arrivals (and star turns) of, first, Diogo Jota last season and, then, Luis Diaz this season. Not many teams in the world could lose a player of Mane’s caliber and almost shrug it off as a non-worry.
Who can/will sign Sadio Mane from Liverpool?
The “can” part rules out most clubs in the world, considering Mane has been operating at a world-class level for roughly four years now.
According to the Athletic, Bayern Munich will be among the suitors. Reports out of Germany have Mane moving to the Allianz Arena for as little as $32 million. However, Liverpool are likely to demand “significantly more” than that.
Paris Saint-Germain likely would have been in for Mane had they not convinced Kylian Mbappe to sign a new three-year contract last week. Perhaps putting Mbappe, Lionel Messi, Neymar and Mane together would end in a “There’s only one ball” situation that no one — certainly not Mauricio Pochettino — wants to navigate.
Despite being crowned champions of Europe already (again), Real Madrid will likely throw their hat in the ring, with an Mbappe-sized hole to fill in the club’s short-term future. Not a bad consolation prize/fall-back option, even if they are swapping a generational talent only just entering his prime years for another generational talent on the down side (ever so slightly) of his own peak.