Liverpool have agreed to sell Sadio Mane to Bayern Munich for £35.1million after holding talks on Friday.
Having already rejected two offers including what were considered unrealistic bonuses, Liverpool will receive £27.4m with an additional £5.1m based on appearances and £2.6m based on individual and team achievements.
Bayern’s Sporting Director Hasan Salihamidzic led negotiations well aware that Mane was committed to joining the German champions and determined to get a deal done for under Liverpool’s £42.5m asking price. It still represents a profit for Liverpool having signed Mane from Southampton in 2016 for £31m plus £2.5m in add-ons.
At the time of that transfer, Southampton had just finished three points above Liverpool. Mane, alongside Joel Matip and Georginio Wijnaldum, was one of only three first-team signings Jurgen Klopp made in his first summer transfer window and was considered a risk at the price.
However, the Senegalese forward turned down Manchester United to join Liverpool, endearing himself to fans immediately, and was named the club’s player of the year in his first season, ahead of Philippe Coutinho.
He was a catalyst for Klopp’s new high-energy and fearless Liverpool.
Mane went on to score 90 Premier League goals for the Anfield club, 120 overall, and finished last season with 23 in all competitions.
His departure signals the break-up of one of the most feared strikeforces in Liverpool history as Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino spearheaded Klopp’s Champions League winning side and ended a 30-year wait for the Premier League title.
It has been an exceptional year for Mane, who won the Africa Cup of Nations with Senegal before helping Liverpool win the Carabao Cup and FA Cup and finish runners-up in the Premier League and Champions League.
The fact he wanted a new challenge with a year left on contract surprised many but competing with Salah meant he was not always the main man for Klopp, sometimes substitutions irked him, as if his selfless workrate had been overlooked.
Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher reflected what many fans thought of his contribution though by hailing Mane as ‘my favourite player of this Liverpool era’.
Liverpool wanted him to sign a new contract but bringing in a 22-year-old striker like Darwin Nunez from Benfica on £140,000 a week compared to keeping a 30-year-old who wanted a big increase on his £180,000 a week made greater economic sense.
Mane will sign a three year deal worth an estimated £320,000 a week at Bayern who had hoped to play him alongside Robert Lewandowski but the prolific Poland international has made it clear he wishes to join Barcelona.
Meanwhile, teenager Calvin Ramsay will complete his Liverpool transfer from Aberdeen this weekend pending a medical.
Another surprise addition is the return of 33-year-old midfielder Jay Spearing who is joining Liverpool to play in their Under 23s side.
Spearing, who left Tranmere Rovers this summer, will return to the club’s academy in a development role initiated by youth director Alex Inglethorpe, to pass on his experience and some coaching skills. Last summer, Manchester United signed former Hull City centre-back Paul McShane for a similar role. McShane, who was 35 at the time, was never registered to appear for the senior United side.
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