Liverpool are preparing a daring £30m raid for Southampton striker, Sadio Mane, 24. The Saints are likely to resist initial overtures whilst they search for a new manager following Ronald Koeman’s departure to Everton.
It’s a turbulent time on the South Coast. Having qualified for next season’s Europa League, the Southampton board are determined to hold onto their key players but face an uphill battle over Mane, who is also wanted by Manchester United.
Jürgen Klopp is set to revamp his frontline and has already expressed an interest in Napoli’s 28 year-old striker, Gonzalo Higuain.
These signings raise questions over the future of his existing strikers. They misfired last season with question marks over the fitness of Daniel Sturridge, 26, whilst Christian Benteke, 25, and Danny Ings, 23, both struggled for goals. The former Burnley striker is expected to return this season after rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament in Jürgen Klopp’s first training session in charge.
Mane played a pivotal role in Southampton’s surge up the table last season. Scorer of the fastest hat-trick in Premier League history, the winger scored 11 goals including a treble against Manchester City in May.
His pace would suit Liverpool’s pressing game and was used by Koeman to great effect. However, the pair enjoyed a sometimes fractious relationship with Mane dropped from the starting line-up against Norwich after he arrived late for a pre-match meeting.
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