Sadio Mane to undergo Liverpool medical today after Southampton agree to £30m deal
Published 27/06/2016 | 08:03
Liverpool have agreed a £30 million fee for Southampton’s Sadio Mane, whose move to Anfield will proceed over the next 24 hours.
Mane will head to Merseyside for a medical on Monday when personal terms will be finalised with a view to a club statement early this week.
The 24-year-old becomes the fourth addition to Jurgen Klopp’s squad for the season ahead, and by far the most expensive.
Negotiations with Southampton concluded over the weekend, with the Saints’ £11 million capture of Nathan Redmond from Norwich the catalyst for Mane to be granted the chance to head north.
Mane - a Senegal international – was targeted by Klopp to add more goals to his line-up from a deeper attacking position.
The Liverpool manager had initially hoped to secure Mario Gotze from Bayern Munich, but his stalling and then vow to fight on at The Allianz Arena ensured Klopp had to turn his attentions elsewhere.
It is no secret Klopp is keen to have his squad assembled as soon as possible rather than head towards August trying to sign players who will have missed the bulk of his work during the pre-season. Preparation for the demands of the next eight months – when Klopp will be expecting his Liverpool players to be more physically and tactically conditioned than any previous Kop team in history – is fundamental to his plans.
Mane becomes the fifth player in three years to move from St Mary’s to Anfield, joining Nathaniel Clyne, Dejan Lovren and Adam Lallana as ex-Saints in the current Liverpool squad. Rickie Lambert joined two years ago, but left after one season.
A year ago Mane was the subject of a bid from Manchester United and despite becoming one of the most expensive purchases in Anfield history, Liverpool believe – at 24 – the best is yet to come from a player whose career Klopp has followed.
Liverpool are sure Mane will elevate his game on Merseyside to justify the fee, while he will add pace, power and an eye for goal which has lacked firepower in advanced midfield areas for too long.
Mane’s addition will certainly improve Klopp’s options given Roberto Firmino, Coutinho and Lallana are vying for positions and another attacking player – Poland's Piotr Zielinski – is expected to follow.