Claims Chelsea are lining up a shock swoop for former Liverpool winger Sadio Mane have been clarified by Fabrizio Romano.
Mane, 31, was the first of Liverpool’s fabled front three to depart when joining Bayern Munich for an initial £27.4m last summer. Roberto Firmino will leave as a free agent at season’s end, though Mohamed Salah is under contract until 2025.
It’s fair to say Mane’s first season in Germany has not gone to plan. The Senegalese has scored just seven times in 22 Bundesliga appearances, with Bayern embroiled in an unusually close scrap with Borussia Dortmund for the title.
Mane also hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons a fortnight ago when punching teammate Leroy Sane.
Sane was left with a bloodied lip and Mane was subsequently suspended for Bayern’s clash with Hoffenheim and fined roughly €500,000.
The souring situation quickly led to speculation Mane could be a one and done in Bavaria. Indeed, Football Insider claimed a shock return to England by joining Chelsea was possible and the Blues had registered their interest.
Chelsea have been plagued by a bluntness in attack this term and Mane would represent a proven option, albeit an ageing one.
The thought of a modern-day Reds great in Mane joining a bitter rival like Chelsea would be unpalatable for Jurgen Klopp. However, according to transfer guru Fabrizio Romano, Klopp and Liverpool fans need not fear.
Chelsea have bigger fish to fry than Sadio Mane
Writing for Caught Offside, Romano claimed that despite the rumours, he’s unaware of any contact between Mane or his camp with Chelsea.
What’s more, the Blues’ focus is likely to lay on signing a new central midfielder and an elite-level striker, not another winger.
Chelsea splashed out big fees to sign Raheem Sterling, Mykhailo Mudryk and Noni Madueke over the past two windows.
Factoring in the likes of Hakim Ziyech, Christian Pulisic and Callum Hudson-Odoi are on the books, as well as the looming arrival of Christopher Nkunku, a new wideman clearly isn’t needed.
Romano wrote: “Despite rumours, I’m not aware of any contact between Sadio Mane and Chelsea at this stage.
“Chelsea have many wingers, their priorities are on different positions including new number 6 and new striker.
“Let’s see what will happen with the new coach, but for Mane decision time will not be now.”
Mane’s maiden season in Munich has been a disappointment, though it looks like he’ll get the opportunity to right his wrongs in the 2023/24 campaign.