Liverpool will not sign a replacement if they sell Sadio Mane, as Jurgen Klopp already has a shrewd plan, according to one former Premier League striker.
Mane has been one of the standout players for Liverpool over the last couple of years, inspiring their dominance in the league table this season.
There are fears that he could move on from Anfield, though, if he wants to become the next winner of the Ballon D’Or, as no Premier League player has won the prize since 2008, when Cristiano Ronaldo was at Manchester United.
Real Madrid appear to be the main potential destination, although Mane may well choose to continue his adventure at Liverpool given how they have established themselves at the top of the world – despite one of his international teammates suggesting the Senegal star doesn’t want to stay at Anfield forever.
If Mane does leave, then former Sunderland striker Kevin Phillips thinks Liverpool will save the money and give more time to a recent investment in Takumi Minamino.
The 25-year-old joined Liverpool from Red Bull Salzburg for just his £7.25m release clause in January, after impressing against them in the Champions League earlier in the season, but has had to bide his time so far.
However, Phillips believes Liverpool have got their approach spot on with Minamino, and that Jurgen Klopp is easing him into the frame to become a starter if one of his famous front three departs.
“Klopp has eased him in gently. That is good management,” Phillips told Football Insider of the Japan international’s start to life at Anfield. “Do not put pressure on the kid straight away and let him get to know the squad.
“Of course, trying to dislodge one of that front three is hard but he has had some game time.
“He is one of those that Klopp has in place if Sadio Mane was to leave or [Roberto] Firmino. Maybe there is a replacement there, but when you have those three at your club you are not getting in front of them.
“You have to be patient. He looks like he has qualities.
“At times he found it difficult to get into the game when he has come on but he looks like a decent. Given time he will be a good one.”