Sadio Mane is not in unfamiliar territory at Bayern Munich’s arena. Most Bavarian fans will recall the striker’s two goals in Liverpool’s 3-1 victory over the German side in the Champions League last-16 in March 2019.
Even as he left the beaten Bavarians in agony, the Senegal international was named Man of the Match.
Three years later, the 30-year-old will be scoring goals for Bayern, according to media reports, who state that the striker has agreed to a three-year contract starting this summer.
In the third round of negotiations, the German side’s sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic received approval from the Reds, who offered 32 million euros plus bonus payments of up to nine million euros.
According to media reports, Salihamidzic confirmed the Mane deal after returning to Munich airport from the United Kingdom on Friday afternoon. “Yes, he is coming,” the Bayern official is said to have said when speaking briefly to reporters, according to Xinhua.
The Mane deal opens the door for Polish striker star Robert Lewandowski to demand a transfer to Barcelona despite having a contract until 2023.
Despite Bayern chairman Oliver Kahn’s announcement that the 33-year-old will not be allowed to leave, things may change now that Bayern appear to have found a suitable replacement in Mane.
While negotiations with Liverpool were ongoing, Mane received a phone call from Bayern Munich coach Julian Nagelsmann. Both parties are said to have discussed next season’s goals and expectations a few days ago.
Nagelsmann is said to have been impressed by Mane’s approach of first addressing the team’s needs before discussing his favourite position.
“I asked him what position he wants to play most. He just said, ‘I am happy to help the team anywhere it makes sense’,” Nagelsmann reported.
Mane is the club’s super transfer, alongside Ajax players Noussair Mazraoui and Ryan Gravenberch.
According to reports, the attacker, who joined the LFC in 2016 after two years with RB Salzburg and FC Southampton, will earn a season salary of 20 million euros.
Mane has risen to the ranks of football’s elite players after winning the 2019 Champions League and the 2020 Premier League, as well as the Africa Cup of Nations with his national team and qualifying for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
Mane scored 90 Premier League goals for Liverpool last season and finished with 23 goals in all competitions. Darwin Nunez, a Uruguay striker, is said to have joined the Reds from Benfica.
Despite the summer football break, the Mane transfer has garnered the most attention in Germany. The signing of one of football’s most popular players benefits the national league as well as Bayern.
The Bundesliga had recently lost one of its main draws in Erling Haaland (from Dortmund to the Citizens). Mane appears to fill the void perfectly.
(Inputs from IANS)