Premier League • England

David James provides main reason why Mo Salah could leave Liverpool, predicts Sadio Mane future

Mo Salah and Sadio Mane of Liverpool

Former Liverpool and England goalkeeper David James has given his verdict on the futures of Mo Salah and Sadio Mane at Anfield.

The pair have been two of Liverpool’s most important players since Jurgen Klopp took charge of the club. And they have been in fantastic form yet again this season.

Salah’s record stands at 31 goals and 16 assists from 50 matches so far. 23 of those goals came in the Premier League, meaning Salah shared the Golden Boot with Tottenham’s Son Heung-min.

Mane, meanwhile, has found the net 23 times in the same amount of games, as well as chipping in with five assists.

Of course, the forward duo could add to their impressive tallies when Liverpool play Real Madrid in the Champions League final on Saturday night.

Both Salah and Mane have contracts which expire next year, leading to rumours of interest from rival teams.

Earlier this week, Salah attempted to calm the transfer storm by saying: “I am staying next season for sure.”

Negotiations with Salah and his agent continue, but Liverpool are yet to match the Egyptian’s wage demands and agree a new deal.

Sadio Mane provides update after Mo Salah admission

Mane has become a target for Bayern Munich as they plan for life without Robert Lewandowski – the prolific striker is pushing for a Barcelona move.

Mane recently followed Salah’s lead by speaking about his own future. “Come back to me on Saturday and I will give you the best answer you want to hear, for sure,” the star said.

“It’s special. I will give you all you want to hear then. Saturday come back and I will give you the answer I promise, but for now let’s go win it because I have no time for other things.”

This suggests Mane is aiming to stay on Merseyside, although fresh terms are yet to be announced.

James, who made 277 appearances for Liverpool, doesn’t think the FA Cup winners should rise to Salah’s financial requests – which would make him highly likely to go.

“As a Liverpool fan you want them to stay,” James said (via Goal). You want your best players to stay and they have proved themselves as two of Liverpool’s best players.

“I would suggest that the Liverpool model and recruitment strategy is that they anticipate the players being there at the same time as anticipating them not being there.

“With the latter, they will anticipate the next acquisition – like [Luis] Diaz coming in during January. They will already have something in place, then you have to look at the individuals.

“I think the fact that Salah hasn’t signed the contract that has been offered, I don’t think he should or would get a better offer because Liverpool will have that as part of their model. Then it is down to the player.”

Mane stock couldn’t be higher – James

The former shot-stopper added: “Of the two, I think Mane is more suitable to go, having achieved everything. He has won all the domestic trophies with Liverpool, he’s won the Africa Cup of Nations.

“His stock as an individual is – he could win the Champions League this weekend – I don’t think his stock can get any higher. You can’t begrudge any player for taking advantage of that.”

Losing either attacker would be a massive blow for Klopp and Liverpool. But Reds officials are planning for life without the pair.

Diaz looks set to fill in for one of them after joining from Porto in January. The Colombian is already an important part of the Liverpool setup.

Plus, Klopp can rely on Diogo Jota for goals. This means only one forward may need to be signed if either Mo Salah or Mane leave in the summer.

Meanwhile, Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard has sent a message to the squad ahead of their clash with Real Madrid.