Sources on Merseyside have rejected claims, but a prominent German journalist has doubled down on his report that Bayern Munich want to sign Sadio Mane.
With Mane’s contract due to expire in 2023, and the summer transfer window approaching, speculation has mounted over the Liverpool forward’s future.
It has been widely reported that the club are planning talks over a new deal at the end of the season, with Jurgen Klopp hopeful of retaining both Mane and Mohamed Salah beyond next year.
However, reports from Sky Germany have claimed that Bayern are hoping to bring the 30-year-old to the Allianz Arena, even suggesting that a meeting had been held with Mane’s agent over a possible move.
Florian Plettenberg initially made the claim last week, though dismissals via a number of journalists from Liverpool swiftly followed this up.
It was instead maintained that Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic had met with representatives from the ROOF agency to discuss the future of Serge Gnabry and a possible move for Konrad Laimer.
?? As reported and now finally confirmed: Salihamidzic wants #Mané! He is the desired top transfer in summer. Nagelsmann is also aware of the plans. It’s top secret within the club. First talks have taken place. @SkySports #LFC https://t.co/3M8yp6EX79
— Florian Plettenberg (@Plettigoal) May 13, 2022
But Plettenberg has now given further detail to his report on interest in Mane, describing the No. 10 as Bayern’s “top transfer” target.
Despite broadcasting the information to Twitter, the Sky Germany journalist added that their pursuit was “top secret within the club.”
The prospect of Bayern lining up a transfer for a player of Mane’s calibre has been made more believable following the Bundesliga side’s announcement that Robert Lewandowski intends to leave.
Like Mane, Lewandowski’s contract runs out in 2023, and Salihamidzic told Sky Germany on Saturday that “he said that he would like to do something else,” with Barcelona his most likely destination.
However, the sporting director insisted that their “attitude hasn’t changed” and that they would not allow the No. 9 to leave before the end of his contract.
It remains to be seen whether Liverpool would part ways with Mane if they received the right offer, but the Senegalese is only magnifying his important to the club in these closing weeks of the season.
He has enjoyed a resurgence in form since switching to the centre-forward role, and it could be that he has proved himself worthy of a new long-term contract despite having turned 30 in April.