Liverpool prioritising Mo Salah’s contract extension over Sadio Mane’s may have encouraged the latter to look for pastures new.
That’s the view of Bundesliga expert and football transfers honcho Ronan Murphy, who also discussed Bayern Munich’s likely next play in their pursuit of the brilliant Senegalese.
“Players always want to feel valued, and this is especially true of world-class players like Salah and Mane. Liverpool were probably right to prioritise Salah’s future as the stats speak for themselves, but it probably put some doubts in Mane’s mind about his value at the club,” Murphy told EOTK.
Bayern’s opening bid for our no.10 was a pitiful €24m all-in, but Liverpool rejected it out of hand, requiring the Germans to put in a much more respectful and reflective offer.
“Bayern will probably give in to Liverpool’s demands and pay up to €40m for Mane, but it’s likely that fee will include add-ons. Any add-ons will probably be Champions League-related, because having a clause about winning the Bundesliga guarantees that add-on will be activated,” he continued.
€40m for a 30-year-old in the final year of his contract, with no desire to extend, is probably fair – although the reality is Liverpool will not be able to sign a player anywhere near that standard for a similar price. As a result, Julian Ward, our new sporting director, has a huge summer on his hands to make sure we’re not starting next season in a weaker position.
Some fans speculated that outgoing Robert Lewandowski could be used in a swap-deal, but the Pole only has his sights on Barcelona, who have annoyingly also begun to speak with Mo Salah about a Bosman transfer next summer…
It will hurt us immensely for Mane to leave, but with his heart clearly set on it, it’s best we pull the plaster off, get the money in, and focus on a new centre-forward.
Hopefully Mane will not make any more strange comments to the media about his future, as they were starting to come across a little tactless given our love for him.
“He backtracked on his comments about 60-70% of Senegal wanting him to leave, claiming it was a joke, but it didn’t come across that way initially. Someone must have flagged to him that it wasn’t the right way to go about things. He could have been a Liverpool legend, but he’s harming his legacy with the way he’s leaving,” Murphy added.
At EOTK, we’d like Jurgen Klopp to sign a striker in place of Mane, but Murphy considers Leeds United’s flyer a tasty alternative.
“Raphinha seems an excellent replacement, but players like him will be very expensive. You probably would have more confidence in Liverpool spending less on a less-heralded name and turning them into a star, like many of their recent signings,” he said.
We like Raphinha, but he doesn’t score enough goals and plays in Salah’s position. With a new centre-forward, we can have Diaz and Salah dovetailing the incoming player in rotation with Roberto Firmino and Diogo Jota. Not bad at all.