Real Madrid have identified Sadio Mane as their backup target if a move for Paris Saint-Germain’s Neymar proves unsuccessful.
The Liverpool star was recently linked with a move to the Bernabeu, only for British reporters to dismiss suggestions from the Spanish media as notorious nonsense.
Interest from across Europe would come as no surprise on the back of Mane’s outstanding career season, over which he registered 20 goals and eight assists as an instrumental figure in his side’s Champions League journey.
The counter-attacking expertise perfectly-aligned to Jurgen Klopp’s explosive attacking football on Merseyside appear to be admired by both Real Madrid’s former and current managers.
Recently-appointed head coach Julen Lopetegui has maintained Zinedine Zidane’s interest in Mane as a viable alternative to Neymar, according to Spanish outlet Diario Gol.
It is also suggested in the report that Mane would be available for between £70-£90million, despite it being made clear in England that Liverpool have no intentions of selling the player.
The Senegalese forward is in line for a lucrative new contract as a reward for his stunning form since arriving from Southampton in summer 2016.
Mane has been a revelation in paving the way for Klopp to follow through with implementing his high-intensity football and pressing from the front.
His pace and directness not only immediately supplied Liverpool with a valuable outlet in behind, but also inspired the pursuit of a player with similar traits to feature across from him – resulting in the signing of Mohamed Salah.
No sum of money will tempt Klopp into breaking up a front three expected to lead Liverpool’s best Premier League title challenge in years.