Liverpool must make a tough decision on the future of Sadio Mane as his value will never be higher than it currently sits at present – claims Stephen Warnock.
The Senegalese forward has developed into one of the world’s most feared attacking threats under the guiding hand of Jurgen Klopp at Anfield.
His goalscoring exploits played a huge part in Liverpool achieving their sixth European crown last June, ultimately being rewarded with an impressive fourth-placed finish in the Ballon d’Or.
That finish could’ve been even higher if Mane played for a team other than Liverpool according to an international teammate, though the player himself moved to reiterate his good standing with Klopp and the club.
Mane’s displays have predictably not gone unnoticed, however, with Spanish giants Real Madrid registering their interest.
The Reds have a recent history of selling some of their most prized assets, most notably in the departures of Luis Suarez and Philippe Coutinho in 2014 and 2018 respectively.
However, former Liverpool full-back Stephen Warnock believes the club must act quickly to ensure the same does not happen, despite his value being at its peak.
“Those players want to play with the best not second best.
“From Mane’s point of view he’s got a manager there that adores him, fans that adore him and he knows the system that he’s playing in.
“Don’t forget the way Liverpool have grown over the last four to five years under Jurgen Klopp. In the last two years they’ve elevated themselves into an elite team now and Mane is arguably Liverpool’s crown jewel in all of that.
“I’m sure if he was to knock on the door and ask for a new contract he’d be rewarded for it as well.
“Look at the Luis Suarez situation and Philippe Coutinho,” Warnock added. “Liverpool handled both of those situations very well, signing them to new contracts and bumping the value of the player up if you like.
“If Liverpool were to cash in on Mane, then now is probably the time to do it because, with his age, his value is probably at its peak or in and around it.
“But, for Liverpool, they’ll just want to extend the contract, because to go out and replace Sadio Mane would cost an astronomical amount of money in an uncertain financial climate and would that player then come in and fit in straight away?”