After failure in the pursuit of Philippe Coutinho, Barcelona have now shifted their focus to another Liverpool star in Sadio Mane, also a target for Real Madrid.
According to Daily Mirror, Sadio Mane is the latest Liverpool superstar to emerge on the radar of the European Elites. Real Madrid and Juventus are both interested in the player. And the duo are joined by Barcelona, who after their failure in the pursuit of Philippe Coutinho, have joined the race for the attacker.
Sadio Mane is currently serving a three-game ban for his high boot on Ederson in the match against Manchester City, the first of which saw Liverpool struggle to a 1-1 draw against Burnley. The attacker has truly become an important player for the Reds, despite being only a season into his career at Anfield.
Mane was an instant hit at Liverpool after arriving from Southampton in a big-money move in the 2016-17 campaign. The Senegalese forward ended the season with 13 goals and 8 assists, with Liverpool becoming too accustomed to his presence.
The statistics show just how reliant Liverpool have become on Mane, with the club failing to get wins in the absence of the Senegalese international. It was again evident on Saturday as the Reds struggled to find the back of the net despite having numerous attempts on goal.
— Transfer Centre Live (@TransferCenLive) September 17, 2017
Barcelona have started the season well, with maximum points to boast of, from four La Liga games. However, Ousmane Dembele has succumbed to a hamstring injury, which is likely to see the Frenchman miss around four months of footballing action.
Ernesto Valverde knows his side lacks depth in attack and will be eyeing reinforcements in January or the summer of 2018. The Catalans tried desperately to land Coutinho in the summer, much to no avail.
Mane’s case could be the same for Barcelona, though. There are no reports of a release clause in Mane’s contract and neither has the player sounded out his will to leave the club, yet.
Real Madrid have started the season slowly and seem to be struggling to score in La Liga in the absence of Cristiano Ronaldo, which may force Zinedine Zidane to pursue a move for Mane, who fits the profile of players that have dominated the Real Madrid attack in recent times.
Interest from the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus may change Mane’s mind. But, Liverpool’s stance on Coutinho could see the suitors tread with caution, lest they risk wasting their time a-la Coutinho.
Another factor will be Mane’s ineligibility to feature in Europe, if any of the clubs do come in for the player in January.
It remains to be seen whether any club does follow up on their interest in Mane, who is likely to keep drawing interest from the aforementioned clubs and more if he continues with the form he has managed to start the present campaign – 3 goals in 4 Premier League matches.