Sadio Mane

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Report: Salah, Mane reject big offers to stay at Liverpool

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According to a report by John Richardson of English tabloid The Daily Mirror, Liverpool frontmen Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane have both told the club they are rejecting tempting offers from “leading continental clubs” to stay at Liverpool at least one more year.

The report says that Salah in particular heard from both Real Madrid and Juventus about the clubs preparing massive $189 million offers, but told them he would not entertain contract negotiations that usually precede those type of enormous deals.

Richardson reports that the outside interest was serious enough that Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp had internal discussions about contingency plans should Salah be tempted by the possibility of leaving, but instead he will stay to have another go at ending Liverpool’s long domestic title drought. The 27-year-old’s contract does not expire until the summer of 2023, having signed an extension just a year ago, so the club still does for the most part control his immediate future.

Salah has scored 71 goals in 104 games across all competitions since joining Liverpool two years ago.

Another prolific goalscorer playing opposite Salah on the left wing, Mane also rejected tempting offers from big clubs, although the report did not name specific teams involved or the price considered. Mane’s contract also runs through the summer of 2023, so it would be tough for him to force his way out of the club as well.

For both players, despite winning the Champions League this past season, leaving Anfield now would feel a bit like leaving business unresolved after coming up just inches short of Manchester City in the title race. After earning a record points haul for second-place finishing team, Liverpool fans feel they can get over the hump next season with another stellar campaign.

Three key battles in the Champions League Final

Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images
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There are only two differences in the Liverpool lineups that beat Spurs 2-1 home and away this season.

Naby Keita and Joe Gomez started the September tilt at Wembley Stadium, while Jordan Henderson and Joel Matip started at Anfield.

[ MORE: Champions League story lines ]

Spurs on the other hand played a back four at Wembley with three center backs in the reverse fixture, wing backs Danny Rose and Kieran Trippier pushed up high and wide.

Might we see the latter again in Madrid? One of those pieces begins this examination of the three (plus one) factors in Saturday’s Champions League Final.

Kieran Trippier versus Sadio Mane

Mane scored 22 goals this season, but failed to manage one against Spurs whether Trippier was lined up at right back or as more of a right wing back.

All-in-all, the dangerous-crossing Trippier is a better defender than his reputation suggests, but Mane is about as explosive an attacking talent as there is in England.

This battle may be the one that settles the tie.

Roberto Firmino versus Toby Alderweireld

Sure, this also could read Firmino v. Spurs’ defense, but “Bobby’s” two goals against Spurs this season were his first in six matches against the Reds.

Like Harry Kane for Spurs, Firmino is coming off an injury. While still quite good, the Brazilian center forward’s production and effectiveness have both dipped this season.

Perhaps it’s absurd to expect him to be a wrecking ball in consecutive Champions League seasons, but his dip in that competition was especially significant. Firmino arguably was the number one reason Liverpool ran through its forgiving slate last season, scoring 10 goals with 7 assists and drawing a penalty. This year, it’s just four goals with a helper.

Alderweireld, meanwhile, has been fine but not spectacular for Spurs. The big Belgian will hope Firmino is less than 100 percent.

Jurgen Klopp versus himself

There are few men in the world with the self-confidence of Jurgen Klopp, but the Reds’ boss enters his latest final holding the proverbial clipboard for the unabashed favorites.

When a man has lost his last three European finals, there’s reason to question how he may try to out-fox himself in the role of favorite. It’s also worth noting that the virtue of getting to a fourth European final says a lot about a managerial skill set.

Where Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino is very much playing with house money, Klopp has yet to lift a piece of silverware as Liverpool boss. Perception of him is unlikely to change too much with a loss, but a win would have him an Anfield all-timer.

The stage can do wild things to a man, even when that man has spent plenty of time on that stage.

BONUS: Harry Kane versus his ankle

Yeah, this is cheating, but the Englishman’s fitness is the X-factor of the UCL Final. Virgil Van Dijk has the goods to deal with a fully fit Kane, but if he’s simply tasked with managing a half-ready decoy? Well, that’s big stuff.

Still, Kane’s 1-4-4 record against Spurs doesn’t have a ton to do with his scoring record, as he’s managed five goals and two assists in those matches. If he’s ready to go, Spurs obviously have a much better chance at glory.

PL Golden Boot: Mane, Salah, Aubameyang all win with 22 goals

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For the first time in nearly a decade, there’s no singular winner of the Premier League’s Golden Boot.

Instead, the honor for most goals in the Premier League this season is shared by last year’s winner, Mohamed Salah, his Liverpool teammate Sadio Mane, and Arsenal forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. The trio of stars finished with 22 goals, as Mane and Aubameyang both hit a brace on Championship Sunday.

[READ: Man City win Premier League title]

The last time the Golden Boot was shared was in 2011, when Carlos Tevez and Dimitar Berbatov shared it with 20 goals.

For Arsenal, it’s the club’s first Golden Boot winner since Robin Van Persie scored an incredible 30-goals in the 2011-2012 season, before moving to Manchester United and winning a Premier League title. Aubameyang becomes Arsenal’s third Golden Boot winner, following Thierry Henry and Van Persie. Mane meanwhile becomes Liverpool’s fourth Golden Boot winner, after Salah, Luis Suarez, and Michael Owen.

Liverpool dominate Wolves in season finale, finish second (video)

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  • Mane slides home the opener (17′)
  • Mane heads home the second (81′)
  • Liverpool finish with 97 points
  • Wolves finish 7th, with 57 points

Liverpool capped off a thrilling, memorable season in which they lost just one our of 38 games with another victory on Sunday, beating Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-0 at Anfield, but fell one point short of Manchester City in the Premier League title race.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Again, the second-place finishers lost just once all season — to the champions, of course — while the champions lost not one, not twice, not three times, but four. It’s the third-highest points total in PL history — behind on Man City last season, and this season.

A cruel way to conceded the title, indeed.

Sadio Mane opened Sunday’s scoring in the 17th minute, and it was a goal that looked quite familiar if you’ve watched much of Liverpool this season. Trent Alexander-Arnold got forward on the right wing and delivered a dangerous cross into the box, where Mane was waiting near the penalty spot. The finish was cool and precise.

Wolves went inches away from drawing level in the 44th minute. Matt Doherty got on the end of a ball from Diogo Jota and smashed a first-time effort pass Alisson and headed for the upper-90 at the far post. Fortunately for the Reds, the ball crashed off the top side of the crossbar.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

It was the closest Wolves would come to an equalizer, as Liverpool appeared remarkably comfortable — as a side with 30 league wins often does — in seeing their narrow advantage through to full-time.

For a bit of added insurance, Mane added his 22nd goal of the league season in the 81st minute — drawing him level with teammate Mohamed Salah and Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for the Golden Boot. It was another brilliant ball into the box from Alexander-Arnold, and Mane got just enough of his head on it to redirect it past Rui Patricio.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Liverpool’s full race is far from run and they’ll have one more shot at a major trophy this season, when they face Tottenham Hotspur in the Champions League final in Madrid on June 1.

Liverpool smash Huddersfield Town to retake PL lead (video)

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  • Keita sets Liverpool record (video)
  • Salah, Mane bag braces
  • Salah takes Golden Boot lead

Liverpool eviscerated Huddersfield Town 5-0 at Anfield on Friday to reclaim the Premier League lead from Manchester City.

The win puts Liverpool on 91 points, two points ahead of City, and brings the Reds within four on goal differential. Man City visits Burnley on Sunday.

Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah both scored twice, the latter moving into the lead when it comes to the Premier League’s Golden Boot.

Naby Keita scored the opener before the match was 15 seconds old, setting a club record for fastest goal from kickoff.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Keita forced a turnover that zipped to Salah, who set up the Guinean for a finish off the far post and into the goal.

Andy Robertson collected his first of two assists when he cued up Mane for a 23rd minute marker.

Salah made it 3-0 before halftime, nabbing his 68th Liverpool goal in his 100th appearance when he lobbed Jonas Lossl off a long pass from Trent Alexander-Arnold.

Jordan Henderson crossed for Mane’s second goal, a clever header and feat of balance.

The fifth goal came when Robertson took a feed from Xherdan Shaqiri before crossing for Salah to side-foot from close range.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]