Premier League • England

Sadio Mane transfer latest: Klopp stance on surprise exit emerges, as Liverpool make two demands

Sadio Mane, Liverpool forward, during the Champions League match against Villarreal at Anfield

Liverpool will be ‘reluctant’ sellers if Sadio Mane does depart this summer and a report has revealed two things that must occur before the forward can leave.

Mane, 30, is reportedly poised to let Liverpool know of his desire to leave in the coming days. That speculation stemmed from French publication L’Equipe last week, though has since received weighty confirmation from the likes of Fabrizio Romano.

Mane has one year left on his current contract and has once again been a vital component of another successful Liverpool season.

However, his exit would be a big blow to Jurgen Klopp, even with Luis Diaz hitting the ground running since arriving from FC Porto in January.

Indeed, the Guardian and Times both provide updates on how Liverpool will approach a potential Mane exit.

Firstly, the Times state the Reds will ‘play hardball’ over any fee involved. Bayern Munich are the primary suitors at present and talk of a cut-price deal has surfaced given Mane’s contract status and age.

However, the Times state £25m will not be enough to convince Liverpool to sever ties. It stands to reason if a more suitable offer is not lodged, Liverpool would retain Mane for the final year of his deal before potentially losing him for free 12 months later.

The Guardian detail Klopp’s stance on the news, stating the German does ‘not want to lose’ his star forward.

In fact, Liverpool have reportedly been working hard to convince Mane to stay and pen fresh terms. They’re described as ‘reluctant sellers’ if a sale is ultimately made.

Mane exit hinges on two factors

The issue of transfer cost is once again addressed, with the Guardian adding Liverpool would demand ‘much more’ than £30m to sell Mane this summer.

The second demand they’ll make before sanctioning a sale will be to have a direct replacement lined up.

Mane set to leave Liverpool

Sadio Mane has reportedly confirmed he will be playing elsewhere next season as Liverpool look set to cash in, with Bayern Munich the favourites to secure his signature.

One school of thought suggested Diaz had been signed with a view to replacing Mane in the long run. Both players are right-footed left wingers, though the Colombian is five years younger.

However, the article suggests that if Mane does go, Liverpool would sign another forward this summer. In the Guardian’s words, Liverpool ‘would want a replacement lined up first’.

Is Liverpool’s Sadio Mane strategy correct?

The Reds’ camp has been largely harmonious during the Klopp era. There is a possibility that could change if Mane is retained against his wishes, though the Senegalese has been nothing but the consummate professional during his time on Merseyside.

Few would expect Mane to kick up a fuss and potentially refuse to play if retained against his wishes. What’s more, the Reds will enter next season with a sense of unfinished business given how their campaign ended.

The Guardian state Liverpool have attempted to forge a new deal with Mane. However, the chances of owners FSG sanctioning bumper new contracts for both Mane and Salah always appeared slim.

Both will be 30 by the time next season begins and the prospect of having two starting wingers on around £400,000-a-week deep into their mid-thirties won’t appeal to the business-oriented Americans.

As such, the likeliest outcome would appear to be a Mane sale on Liverpool’s terms, quickly followed by the long-awaited Salah contract extension.