Mane to Real Madrid; Manolas to Man United?

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Now that you’ve all recovered from the January transfer window, it is time to focus on the summer transfer window.

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After all, the transfer window opens in just a few months time for Premier League clubs. With that in mind, here are couple of juicy rumors doing the rounds…

A report from France Football claims that Zinedine Zidane wants to make Liverpool’s Sadio Mane one of his first big signings back at Real Madrid.

Mane, 26, only signed a new contract with Liverpool in November but the Senegalese flyer has been in sensational form in recent months and is carrying their hopes of winning the Premier League and UEFA Champions League. Per the report, Zidane is a huge fan of Mane and wanted to sign him in the summer of 2018 before he abruptly left Real.

Mane has scored 20 goals in 36 appearances in all competitions for Liverpool this season, and has scored 11 times in his last 11 games. And besides his improving goalscoring record he has the one thing modern teams want: blistering pace.

Whether or not Mane could be tempted to leave Liverpool this summer remains to be seen, but if they do win either the PL title or the UCL, is that a good time for Mane to move on?

He may believe it won’t get any better than that, but leaving Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah and breaking up that partnership would certainly upset Liverpool fans and neutrals alike. Zizou plans to rebuild this ageing Real team and it is quite right that he wants Mane to be the future of their attack alongside the likes of Vinicius Junior.


Man United’s plans to sign a new center back haven’t been a secret for some time now. We just weren’t sure if that was a priority since Jose Mourinho left and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer arrived as the new caretaker manager.

It appears getting in a new commanding center half is still a top priority for the Red Devils.

A report from Calciomercato in Italy has linked United with a move for Roma and Greece defender Kostas Manolas, with the 27-year-old said to have a $39.8 million release clause in his contract if Roma do not qualify for the Champions League. They are currently four points off the top four with 10 games left in Serie A.

The powerful Greek defender has been a regular at Roma over the past five seasons and was influential in their run to the Champions League semifinals last season. With Phil Jones and Chris Smalling handed new contracts recently, United’s policy when it comes to retaining their current center backs is strange.

Victor Lindelof has improved drastically under Solskjaer, but it seems like both Eric Bailly and Marcos Rojo will be sold this summer. Toby Alderweireld and Kalidou Koulibaly have both been linked with moves to United, and having Manolas and Alderweireld as center backs, with one of Lindelof, Smalling and Jones alongside them in a 3-4-3 formation could work very well.

Late penalty puts Liverpool atop table (video)

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  • Mane opens scoring in 26th
  • Ex-Reds striker Babel stars in loss
  • Mane wins late penalty, Milner converts

James Milner‘s 81st minute penalty saved Liverpool blushes in a 2-1 defeat of Fulham at Craven Cottage on Sunday.

The Reds had a Sadio Mane-inspired lead, but had given it back through a comedy of errors Ryan Babel equalizer.

Liverpool goes atop the Premier League on 76 points, having played one more match than Man City (74 points).

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Some lively dribbling from ex-Liverpool man Ryan Babel cued up Jean-Michael Seri for a shot that sailed over the goal.

Andrew Robertson hit a cross too close to Fulham keeper Rico after some fancy dribbling of his own.

Liverpool was asking all the questions when Mane put them ahead, beginning the move on the left wing before passing to and receiving from Roberto Firmino for 1-0.

Mane joins three players chasing Sergio Aguero’s league-leading goal total of 18: Mohamed Salah, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, and Harry Kane.

Mane has nine goals in his last nine PL matches, and 11 in 11 overall.

Liverpool was a bit lucky that a rash foul from Fabinho didn’t earn him as second yellow card and send the Reds down to 10 men at the break.

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Fulham did not quit, and looked the better money for a second half goal. A first break saw Aleksandar Mitrovic nod into the goal only to see an offside flag deny the marker.

Babel was at the center of it all, and led a second break which ended with a Alisson Becker save on Andre Franck Zambo Anguissa.

That’s when calamity occurred in the center of the pitch. James Milner mishit a clearance, and Virgil Van Dijk casually headed back toward Alisson. The goalkeeper lost the ball in his feet, and Babel was on the doorstep to slot home.

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The stalemate lasted just a few minutes, as Milner converted a penalty conceded when Rico impeded Mane in the box.

Mohamed Salah had a chance to put the match to bed following a Mane-led run, but the Egyptian fired right at Rico.

WATCH: Mane, Firmino work beautiful 1-2 to give Liverpool lead

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Pinpoint and nearly perfect.

Those words describe the interplay between Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino as they combined for Liverpool’s opening goal at Fulham on Sunday.

[ MORE: Klopp dismisses Bayern talk ]

Mane collected the ball on the left wing and cut towards the center of the pitch before sliding the ball to Firmino near the touch line.

The Brazilian took a stride or two to the middle and met Mane’s incisive and industrious run with a perfect pass, the Senegalese striker slotting his 17th goal of the Premier League season.

Mane joins three players chasing Sergio Aguero’s league-leading goal total of 18: Mohamed Salah, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, and Harry Kane.

Mane has nine goals in his last nine PL matches, and 11 in 11 overall.

Mane leads Liverpool past Bayern Munich (video)

AP Photo/Matthias Schrader
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  • Mane bags brace
  • Gnabry, Lewandowski force Matip own goal
  • Milner finds Van Dijk for goal

Sadio Mane scored two goals and was an all-around menace as Liverpool defeated Bayern Munich 3-1 at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday to score a berth in the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals after a scoreless first leg.

Virgil Van Dijk also scored for the Reds, who conceded via a Joel Matip own goal in the win.

The quarterfinal draw is Friday morning. Four of the eight quarterfinalists are from the Premier League.

Andy Robertson picked up a yellow card in stoppage time, and will miss the first leg of the next round.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Liverpool made an early change when Jordan Henderson was hurt, bringing Fabinho into the XI.

Out of nothing, Roberto Firmino lashed a shot wide of Manuel Neuer’s far post.

Liverpool then took the lead on a horrible mistake from Neuer, as Mane turned him inside out on the edge of the 18 and swept a shot across the line.

Robert Lewandowski then bounced a shot to Alisson, as Bayern knew it would need to score twice without conceding.

Neuer stopped a marauding Andy Robertson at the near post in the 34th minute.

It all went level in the 39th minute, as Serge Gnabry cooked Robertson and Joel Matip‘s desperation bid to clear Gnabry’s cross toward Lewandowski went into the goal.

David Alaba zipped a free kick over the wall that Alisson Becker saved, and it remained 1-1 into halftime.

Mohamed Salah stung the palms of Neuer with a 50th minute rocket, as Liverpool looked for a goal to put victory firmly in its grasp.

Lewandowski then just missed a Gnabry cross before Bayern gave the Reds a pair of corner kicks.

The second was James Milner‘s assist on Van Dijk’s thumped back post header, and Liverpool was in very good shape with a little more than 20 minutes to play in Munich.

Salah could’ve earned a penalty after contact in the box but fought through it and had a chance denied by Bayern.

Substitute Renato Sanches missed wide with an 83rd minute effort to tie the second leg.

And in the end, Mane was just too much. The Senegalese star completed his brace in the 84th minute.

Liverpool outlasts Burnley at Anfield

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  • Westwood scores disputed opener
  • Firmino scores in each half
  • Gudmundsson pulls one back in stoppage
  • Mane answers back to complete brace
  • Reds back within one of Man City

Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane scored twice as Liverpool came from behind to punish sloppy Burnley 4-2 at Anfield on Sunday.

Burnley took an early lead when Ashley Westwood‘s corner kick sailed past an obstructed Alisson Becker, but the Reds got their just desserts to move one point back of leaders Man City.

The Clarets are 17th, two points clear of the drop zone.

[ MORE: Full box score, lineups, stats ]

Burnley took a sixth minute lead out of nothing, and it’s a goal that never should have been awarded by referee

Roberto Firmino cut inside to rip a 14th minute shot at Tom Heaton‘s goal, but defender James Tarkowski blocked the effort.

Then Sadio Mane couldn’t quite turn a hard-hit Trent Alexander-Arnold cross on frame as the Reds continued their equalizer push.

Firmino put Liverpool level in the 20th minute, easily slotting home from inside the six when Tarkowski and Heaton made a mess of a Mohamed Salah pass.

Mane made it 2-0 in the 29th, his sixth-straight league home game with a goal, when he sent an arrow into the goal following a blocked clearance from Adam Lallana.

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Burnley kept it tight for the first 20 minutes of the second half, but the dam broke when Heaton’s poor kick led to Firmino’s second of the day.

Alexander-Arnold crossed for Mane in the 82nd minute, but the Senegalese star’s sliding effort bounded off the bar.

Gudmundsson scored in stoppage time to allow a few nerves at Anfield, but Mane answered the bell quickly to restore the 2-goal cushion.