Sadio Mane is on the verge of sealing a move to Bayern Munich, with the club preparing an improved offer that matches Liverpool’s £42.5million valuation.
A new round of talks between all parties has been set for Friday, with Hasan Salihamidzic, the German champions’ sporting director, determined to strike a deal for his priority target.
Bayern were confident in signing the Senegalese international after receiving a verbal commitment from him last month. They believed it allowed them to strike a cheap deal, especially given the development of Darwin Nunez.
The Bundesliga side also hinted at their ‘soft’ negotiations with Liverpool for Thiago, selling the midfielder for an initial £20m with a potential £5m in surcharges.
Their rejected opening offers for Mane were similar – £25m and £23.5m with £6.5m in unlikely extras – despite his availability, explosiveness and guaranteed determination in the last third, which required a higher fee.
Now Bayern have realized that despite their strong hand and the fact that Liverpool have already recruited a replacement in Nunez, they need to make a serious offer that matches the asking price.
The Anfield side are looking to recoup their £34m spend on Mane when he arrived from Southampton in the summer of 2016, plus a small win.
Liverpool believe £42.5m is an overly reasonable figure for a Ballon d’Or candidate in the final year of his contract.
The club pride themselves on selling well but don’t want to be a hindrance to players looking for a new challenge that has served them well.
Mane has been key to the club’s success for the last six seasons and will leave him with his blessings and gratitude.
Aware that without mood as a driving factor, Liverpool needed to evolve and have efficiently recalibrated their attack with the recruitment of Diogo Jota, Luis Diaz and Nunez.
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What positions are Liverpool aiming for?
Sky Sports News reporter Vinny O’Connor:
Liverpool will look to strengthen their forward line this season. The fact that they even spoke to Kylian Mbappe shows how determined they are to keep bringing quality up.
They’ve already secured Darwin Nunez’s signature but it makes sense as Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino enter the final year of their contracts. The departure of Mane, who also had a year left on his contract, and Divock Origi, who has already decided to leave, makes reinforcements in this area a priority.
With Fabio Carvalho set to officially start his Liverpool career on July 1, any further midfield makeover could depend on the future of Alex Oxlade Chamberlain and Takumi Minamino. Oxlade Chamberlain made 29 appearances in a 63-game season and has not played since the FA Cup win over Forest in March, while Minamino made just 24 appearances and could both be looking for regular first-team opportunities. Oxlade Chamberlain is another player with just one year left on his contract.
Strengthening the defense doesn’t appear to be a priority as Ibrahima Konate offers another option for Joel Matip and Virgil van Dijk, while Joe Gomez can cover right-back and centre-back.
Liverpool games: The Reds start in Fulham
Liverpool begin the 2022/23 Premier League season with a midday trip to newly promoted Fulham on Saturday 6 August.
It will be the fourth straight season that Liverpool have started a new season against a Premier League newcomer.
But after they then faced Crystal Palace, Jurgen Klopp’s side are set to take on Man Utd at Old Trafford on August 20.
September will see away games to Everton and Chelsea, and Liverpool will also face Arsenal and champions Man City on October 8th and 15th.
Liverpool’s last game before the Winter World Cup season is temporarily suspended will be played at Anfield on November 12 against Southampton before returning to Aston Villa on Boxing Day.
The Reds then host arch-rivals United on March 4 before tricky ties at back-to-back weekends at City (1 April) and against Arsenal at Anfield (8 April) before ending the season in Southampton.
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