Sadio Mane is wanted by German champions Bayern Munich this summer, amid claims of difficult talks over his contract situation at Liverpool.
Much of the talk around new contracts at Anfield has focussed on Mohamed Salah‘s deal expiring next year, but Mane’s deal also expires in summer 2023, a little over a year away.
Very rarely would a player of Mane or Salah’s importance, quality and worth be allowed to enter the final year of their contract, but the pandemic appears to have pushed contract talks back.
Now, Liverpool face the difficult task of renewing Mane, Salah and Roberto Firmino before they enter the final year of their deals.
In eight months, each of the Reds’ famed front three will be free to agree free contract deals with foreign clubs.
And despite public declarations of calm from Jurgen Klopp and sources inside Anfield, it’s a concerning situation.
While the obvious move from Liverpool is to retain Salah and therefore make him the highest-paid player in the club’s history, the question over Mane is just as difficult.
The Senegalese has been in superb form in recent weeks, at a time when Salah’s has dipped following the Africa Cup of Nations.
Now, Sky Germany claim that Bayern Munich are seeking a deal to sign the 30-year-old.
It’s claimed that Bayern’s sporting director, Hasan Salihamidzic, sees Mane as a ‘statement transfer’ – although no negotiations have yet taken place.
They add that talks between Liverpool and Mane over a contract extension are proving “difficult.”
That could well be linked to Salah’s contract negotiations, which have also stalled in recent months.
Asked about Mane’s contract situation last month, Klopp refused to be drawn – learning from lessons when speaking about Salah’s.
“It’s my fault, I made a mistake with talking to you about the Mo contract situation which I usually don’t do,” Klopp said after being asked about Mane’s situation.
“It led to plenty of misunderstandings and you ask again, so I go back to my former approach and close the door again.
“There’s nothing to say about any kind of negotiations of contract stuff, not for me here.
“When there is something to announce, you [the media] are the first group to get the information, until then you just have to wait.”
It was reported by English journalists following Klopp’s new contract recently that the manager now wanted to get Mane signed to a new deal.
These reports from Germany, which are being repeated by Sky Sports in the UK, could well be a move by Mane’s representatives to push Liverpool to agree to the terms they are seeking.
For Liverpool, it could make business sense to sell a player this summer for a large fee, rather than lose them a year later on a free transfer.
Mane joined the Reds in 2016 from Southampton for £30 million, scoring 118 goals for the club in 265 appearances so far.