Does Mane to Real Madrid make sense?
Sadio Mane has been linked with Real Madrid in recent weeks. We delve deeper into the reports and look at whether the Liverpool forward would be an ideal fit for Zinedine Zidane.
Barely a day goes by without Real’s potential summer activity making the headlines in Spain, and the whispers can be heard in England too due to numerous Premier League players being tipped to join Zidane at the Bernabeu.
But now it is Zidane’s pursuit of Mane which is gaining traction, with Marca identifying the Senegalese international as the club’s primary target…
‘Zidane asks for Mane’
France Football claimed Mane was on the verge of joining Real last summer, but Zidane’s departure meant the move failed to materialise.
The piece also highlighted Mane’s work ethic – stating his perseverance despite a “lack of support from his doubtful parents” – and his charitable nature: “Away from the pitch, the Liverpool forward is involved in charity work. He donated 200,000 euros to build an educational centre in Bambali in his native country last year.”
His recent performances have helped Liverpool at a time where Salah’s goals have dried up. Mane has scored nine league goals in his last nine games, compared to the Egyptian’s three.
Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mané | FC Liverpool - Champions LeagueGetty Images
Liverpool bought Mane for £34m in the summer of 2016, and though he is valued at £76.5m on transfermarkt.co.uk, it would be a surprise to see the Reds budge for a fee lower than the £142m Barcelona paid for Phillipe Coutinho – such is Mane’s importance to the club.
In response to Marca’s piece, the Daily Mail said Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has no intention of selling Mane.
Could it take a world-record fee (£200m+) to prise him away from Anfield?
Mane and/or Hazard?
Zidane’s reported pursuit of Mane casts doubts over Hazard’s potential move, and would almost inevitably push Gareth Bale closer to the exit door at Real.
It would be an enviable position if Real had both at their disposal, but the fact the pair (three, including Bale – four… including Vinicius Jr) are primarily left wingers means it is unlikely both will join in the summer.
Given Mane’s goalscoring prowess this season, perhaps Zidane sees him as a potential No.9 and long-term replacement for Karim Benzema, with Hazard more suited to life on the wing, where he could act as the perfect mentor for Vinicius.
Eden HazardGetty Images
However, the likelihood of Real signing Mane this summer is low, such will be Liverpool’s desire to keep him, and it would take an open admission (transfer request) from the 26-year-old to force the move through.
Hazard appears to be a far simpler target given his refusal to commit to Chelsea, a club themselves facing a summer of disarray. He will be far happier to jump ship, while Mane – with or without a Premier League or Champions League medal – has far greater prospects to look forward to at Liverpool in the coming years.