The breakup of Liverpool’s attacking juggernaut has officially begun as the Reds have reportedly agreed to sell Sadio Mane to European heavyweights Bayern Munich.
air sportsclaims Mane will go to Bavaria on a deal worth up to $AUD 61 million.
The impending departure of the 30-year-old continues Reds boss Jurgen Klopp to refresh his attacking stocks as the era of Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino reaches its twilight.
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Salah remains Liverpool’s talisman but with a year left on his contract, the club will be forced to make a crucial decision whether to keep the Egyptian on board as he is likely to force a higher deal.
Firmino’s role has declined in recent seasons, especially with the arrival of Wolves’ Diogo Jota last season.
The signing of Luis Diaz from Porto in January was another signal that the end is near for the figures behind the club’s most successful era in recent memory.
That idea was cemented with Liverpool’s $149 million capture of 22-year-old Benfica sniper Darwin Nunez, which paved the way for Mane’s departure.
Nunez’s signing gave Bayern new hopes of a deal to come as Liverpool looked to recoup some of its spending
Mane enjoyed a fruitful six-year spell at Liverpool, having signed for $54 million from Southampton in 2016, becoming Klopp’s first major contract since taking over at Anfield.
The Senegalese star has made more than 260 appearances for the English giants and enjoyed considerable individual and club success, including the Reds’ first-ever Premier League title in 2019/20 and a Champions League triumph in 2018/19.
Mané also hit double figures in the scoring column for six consecutive seasons, scoring 20 goals in all competitions in four seasons.
SPURS BAG WANTED BISSOUMA
Tottenham on Friday announced the signing of Brighton midfielder Yves Bissouma for a reported £25million (A$44million) fee, giving manager Antonio Conte his third signing of the transfer window.
The highly regarded Mali international shone as Brighton took the best-ever ninth-place finish in the Premier League last season.
Bissouma, 25, has signed a four-year contract and will join newcomers Ivan Perisic and Fraser Forster at the London club.
“I am very happy to be here, happy to be a Spurs player and hopefully we will have a good season,” Bissouma told Spurs TV.
The Spurs will play in the Champions League next season after pushing North London rivals Arsenal to fourth place in the Premier League.
A £150m investment from owners ENIC has boosted Conte’s transfer budget and the lure of playing in Europe’s top club competition has made Tottenham a top draw.
Bissouma said his “dream” was to play in the Champions League. He only had a one-year contract with Brighton and Seagulls manager Graham Potter said the deal was also a good deal for the club, who could now invest in the squad again.
“The transfer is a very good one for the club and player,” said Potter. “Yves has shown his undeniable abilities and has been an important player for us during his time with us.
“Now he has a new challenge at Tottenham, including the opportunity to play Champions League football, and everyone at the club wishes him the best.”
LEEDS SIGN THIRD Crate
Marc Roca became Leeds’ third signing for the transfer window on Friday, after the Spanish midfielder completed a £10 million transfer from Bayern Munich.
The 25-year-old has joined a four-year deal after struggling for playing time with the German giants since joining in 2020.
“Everyone told me that the Premier League is the best league in the world and the history of Leeds United is amazing,” said Roca. “I hope we can do good things here.” The former Spanish Under-21 international started his career with Espanyol before switching to the then European champions two years ago.
But he made only 24 appearances in two seasons for the German champions. Roca’s arrival brings Leeds summer spending to nearly £50million after the signing of Red Bull Salzburg’s Brendan Aaronson and Rasmus Kristensen.
SAINTS BAG DOUBLE GLOVE MOVE
Southampton announced on Friday that Manchester City goalkeepers Gavin Bazunu and free agent Mateusz Lis have signed a five-year contract.
Irish international Bazunu is said to cost £12 million. The 20-year-old joined the Premier League champions Shamrock Rovers as a 16-year-old before spending loan spells in Rochdale and Portsmouth.
The arrival of both goalkeepers follows the announcement of the departure of Southampton’s former England goalkeeper Fraser Forster, 34, who will join Tottenham after his contract expires at the end of June.
“We believe he has huge potential to improve and will give us great competition for places in the goalkeeping department,” manager Ralph Hasenhuettl said of Bazunu.
“He is a goalkeeper with a very modern style of play, comfortable in the build-up phase, who has developed physically through some very significant loan spells early in his career,” he added.
Bazunu made 10 international appearances, most notably saving a penalty from Cristiano Ronaldo in a World Cup qualifier last year.
And he is delighted to be making the step into regular Premier League football. “The biggest thing is the opportunity — the fact that I can come here and have a chance to play regular football,” he said.
“Just getting that chance to fight for my spot is the biggest thing I could have asked for.” The Polish Lis is going on a free transfer after his contract with Turkish club Altay expired.
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