Reports: Liverpool in pursuit of Southampton star Sadio Mane
Jurgen Klopp had set sights on signing Southampton forward Sadio Mane a few weeks ago after his hopes of recruiting top target Mario Gotze receded. The Reds are said to be close to completing a £30m deal for the 24-year-old according to Daily Express.
Mane moved to Southampton for around £11.8m in 2014 from the Austrian side FC Red Bull Salzburg on a four-year deal. He had an impressive first season with the south coast club, managing to score 10 goals in 30 appearances. He also made a significant contribution with two assists and a goal in the third qualifying round where Southampton beat Vitesse Arnhem 5-0 on aggregate to advance to the Europa League.
The Senegalese also made history in his first season by scoring the fastest-ever Premier League hat trick in just 2 minutes and 56 seconds. The record was previously held by Liverpool’s Robbie Flower who scored his treble in 4 minutes and 33 seconds.
The forward scored 15 goals for Southampton last season, including two against Jurgen Klopp’s men back in March when Liverpool yielded a two-goal advantage in a 3-2 defeat. A total of six assists also added to his impressive tally.
Mane arrived in the Premier League as a winger but has shown great potential in his central, withdrawn forward role. Mane will add a vital goal threat from an attacking midfield position – something that Liverpool have been lacking in recent seasons.
Liverpool adds to its Southampton connection
Liverpool have signed the likes of Adam Lallana, Dejan Lovren, Nathaniel Clyne and Rickie Lambert from the Saints in the last two years.
If the deal goes through, Sadio Mane will become the latest to swap St Mary’s for Anfield in recent windows.
This transfer would mean another blow to Southampton, who just lost defensive midfielder Victor Wanyama to Tottenham and have just seen boss Ronald Koeman leave for Everton.