If Sadio Mane has not extended his Liverpool contract by summer 2019, fans will have a genuine reason to be worried.
This is according to respected Liverpool correspondent James Pearce.
The Senegalese winger has been a candidate for a new deal for some time, having impressed enormously since his arrival from Southampton in the summer of 2016.
But as of yet, Mane’s agents haven’t felt Liverpool’s new terms are big enough, despite Roberto Firmino and Mo Salah putting pen to paper in 2018.
“I understand Liverpool opened discussions with his representatives at the end of last season. They said we’ve done it for Firmino, are doing it for Salah and would like to recognise his progress with new terms and a five-year contract so you let us know when you’d like to sit down and we’ll do that. For whatever reason, those negotiations haven’t reached a successful conclusion yet,” he told a Q&A session with the Echo.
“He’s under contract until 2021. It always used to be clubs would sit down to renegotiate when it got to the last two years. If we’re still in pre-season next year and it hasn’t been resolved, then it would be a genuine source of concern.
“At the moment it’s not one to be unduly worried about. It doesn’t really mean anything though, does it. How soon after his new contract was Coutinho off? Suarez too. Even if Sadio Mane signed a contract today, it doesn’t mean we’d see him in a Liverpool shirt for the next five years.”
There’s nothing wrong with Mane holding out for the best possible deal, although it looks like he wants to become the club’s highest paid player.
Last season, we lost Emre Can on a Bosman, with the German not accepting Liverpool’s refusal to include a buy-out clause in his contract.
We’re not sure if Mane wants one or these, or just an enormous weekly wage – but whatever the reason – a conclusion has not been reached.
Losing Mane because he hasn’t signed an extension would be calamitous, but it’s not something we have to worry about just yet.
In six months or so though, our anxiety regarding the situation will be warranted!