Liverpool have reportedly switched their attention to Southampton attacker Sadio Mane in the wake of Mario Gotze’s apparent commitment to Bayern Munich.
Gotze pulled a dramatic U-turn on Monday, leaving his agent and committing his future to Bayern Munich—despite the club stressing on Wednesday that he should “consider” a move away.
But with Jurgen Klopp eager to secure his key transfer targets early in the summer, Liverpool are now poised to enter the race to sign Mane.
That is according to widespread reports on Thursday night, with the Saints forward heading Klopp’s list of priority targets as an alternative to his former Borussia Dortmund star.
Mane is valued at £25 million, and the Reds will vie with both Man United and Tottenham Hotspur to secure his services.
Klopp is chasing a forward able to subscribe to his high-intensity attacking ideals, and Mane is seen as capable of operating in his current system.
Mane finished the 2015/16 campaign as Southampton‘s top goalscorer, with 15 goals in 43 games in all competitions, and is capable of operating in a variety of roles in attack.
Most comfortable on the right wing, however, it seems that Klopp is looking for a forward to complement current first-choice attackers Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino.
Mane joined the Saints from Red Bull Salzburg in 2014, after the Reds famously turned him down over concerns with his statistical output.
The Senegalese has since proved his worth in the English top flight, and at 24, with his best years ahead of him, Klopp could see him as an ideal player to mould within his system.
Mane could become the fifth player to join Liverpool from Southampton in the past three years, following Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana, Dejan Lovren and Nathaniel Clyne.
Some reports suggest Jordon Ibe could be used as part of any deal with Southampton.