Liverpool remain intent on £30m deal for Southampton's Sadio Mane
Liverpool will step up their efforts to sign Southampton’s Sadio Mane next week as they seek to complete a £30 million deal.
Mane emerged as a prime target for manager Jurgen Klopp after he became frustrated with efforts to convince Bayern Munich's Mario Gotze to move to Anfield.
Liverpool made a formal approach to Southampton for the 24-year-old several weeks ago and negotiations have been continuing ever since.
With pre-season training soon to resume, a concerted effort to complete the deal will be made over the next seven days, but there are also fears talks could drag on – especially as the Saints main priority is securing a new manager rather than overseeing player sales.
Mane would become the fifth Southampton player to move to Liverpool in the space of three years, joining Adam Lallana, Dejan Lovren and Nathaniel Clyne at Anfield.
Two years ago Liverpool also took Rickie Lambert from St Mary’s, although his spell was not successful.
Liverpool believe Mane will add a much-needed goal threat from an attacking midfield position – something that has been lacking in recent seasons.
The Senegal international excelled in both Premier League fixtures against Liverpool last season and in total he has struck 21 goals for the Saints over the course of two years.
Klopp will certainly be keen to get business done as soon as possible as he wants his squad assembled well in advance of the new campaign.
The German coach has stated repeatedly how important the players’ conditioning work will be this summer.
So far Liverpool have signed three players who will join the squad when pre-season training resumes in the first week of July. They are Marko Grujic and Joel Matip – both signed last January – and goalkeeper Loris Karius.
Negotiations are ongoing for Leicester’s Ben Chilwell and Polish winger Piotr Zielinski.