Liverpool’s board are understood to be ‘nonplussed’ and ‘at ease’ with reports suggesting Real Madrid will launch a blockbusting move to bring Sadio Mane to the Bernabeu when the transfer window reopens.
Mane has been strongly linked with a summer switch to the Bernabeu after a superb season for the Reds, scoring 16 goals and adding eight assists in all competitions this season.
Such has been his form that the player is in pole position to be named Player of the Year after topping our rankings list for most of the season.
And with Liverpool continuing to be linked with moves for Germany forward Timo Werner and Bayer Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey, it would appear that they are preparing for the prospect that Real could come calling for Mane.
However, despite a report claiming Mane and Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Braut Haaland topped Zinedine Zidane’s list of targets, it seems the Liverpool board remain unconcerned that the talismanic Senegalses star could be lured away.
As per The Athletic, Liverpool’s hierarchy do not have any concerns Mane could leave for Real Madrid and they state the rumours have been received with bemusement by the board at Anfield.
Furthermore, they believe Mane is happy at Anfield and the player only sees his long-term future at Anfield.
In addition, and with Mane’s contract running until 2023, Liverpool’s hierarchy have already made it clear to the player they want him to stay beyond that and further extend his hero status at the club.
Former Liverpool and Real Madrid man Steve McManaman, meanwhile, also thinks it’s highly unlikely Mane will be lured away.
“Well Real Madrid already have Eden Hazard, they bought Rodrygo last summer and they’ve just invested in Reinier in January, so I’d take a rumour like that with a pinch of salt,” he told Horseracing.net.
“Regardless of how the Champions League turns out this season, the best teams in the world at present are the English teams. Real Madrid and Barcelona are not.
“They both want to start again and bring in a few new players because they’ve both had disappointing seasons this year, so they’re both going to start turning their teams over.
“I don’t think there’s any chance of either Sadio Mane or Mohammed Salah going to either Real Madrid or Barcelona.”
Were Mane to move to Real Madrid, he would likely have to force through the move himself. A report on Wednesday claimed the club had identified a £75m Premier League winger as their preferred replacement should that happen.
In other Liverpool news, the Reds are reported to have been given permission to secure a €20m deal to sign an Anderlecht youngster. Read more, and the rest of the transfer lines from Thursday’s Paper Talk, right here.