Bayern Munich and Liverpool have struck a deal for the transfer of Sadio Mane with the Bundesliga champions committing to paying an initial €32 million for the Senegal forward.
Mane is set to finalize a three year contract with Bayern over the coming days before departing Liverpool in a move that could eventually reach €41 million, which would mean a profit for the Reds on the fee they initially paid to Southampton for the then 24-year-old attacker. He is expected to undergo his medical in Bavaria in the coming days.
After six trophy-laden seasons at Anfield, the 30 year old informed the club hierarchy earlier this summer of his desire to test his skills elsewhere; the Bundesliga offers him just that opportunity whilst with one of world football’s top forwards added to their squad Bayern will feel they are well placed to compete for the Champions League next season. Mane had just one year remaining on his current contract with Liverpool, who he leaves having won every top club honor available to English teams. In 269 games for the Reds he scored 120 goals, providing 48 assists.
Liverpool have already moved to secure their replacement for their outgoing No.10 and signed Darwin Núñez from Benfica earlier this week in a club record deal worth up to €100m. With Mane having spent much of the second half of this season at center forward it is possible that the incoming Uruguayan will simply slot into the gap between Luis Diaz and Mohamed Salah, who is also heading into the final 12 months of his deal. With Roberto Firmino, Diogo Jota and summer addition Fabio Carvalho in the squad, Jurgen Klopp will not lack for depth in his frontline.
Perhaps more intriguing is what comes next for Bayern, who have a wantaway forward of their own in Robert Lewandowski. Like Mane, the Polish international has a hankering for fresh climes in the remaining years of his prime. Barcelona want to sign him and whilst Bayern are insistent that they want Lewandowski to see out the final season of his contract they appear to be fighting a losing battle.
It has been suggested in Germany that Bayern see Mane reprising his Liverpool role at the Allianz Arena, playing as the focal point of a fluid front three. Whether that will include Serge Gnabry, another of the string of star forwards out of contract in 2023, remains the matter of some debate with no sign of a breakthrough in securing an extension for him.