KEY POINTS

  • Sadio Mane reportedly is ready to consider Barca move
  • Barca are seeing Mane as Messi's replacement
  • Liverpool will not accept bid less than $142 million for Mane

Liverpool star Sadio Mane reportedly could consider moving to FC Barcelona in the ongoing summer transfer window.

With Lionel Messi having informed Barcelona that he wants to leave this summer, the club is looking for a long-term replacement for their skipper. Barcelona’s new head coach Ronald Koeman managed Mane at Southampton and is believed to be an admirer of the Senegal national and has identified the 29-year-old striker as an ideal replacement for Messi.

Under the watch of Koeman, Mane rose to ranks and netted 25 goals in 75 competitive matches at Southampton between 2014 and 2016. Impressed with Mane’s show with "The Saints", Liverpool had signed the player for $45 million on a five-year deal.

Mane was linked with a move to Real Madrid last summer and the player was reportedly angry with Liverpool for not even considering or discussing the same with him.

The 28-year-old winger has been a core member of Jurgen Klopp’s side that has tasted success over the last couple of years. He has scored 81 goals in 171 matches since his Reds debut in 2016. As a reward for his contribution, Mane was offered a new lucrative five-year contract in 2018. Along with Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah, Mane has formed a mind-blowing front three at Liverpool helping the side win the Champions League, the Premier League, UEFA Super Cup, and their maiden FIFA Club World Cup.

While in the Ballon d’Or awards, only journalists vote, international coaches, captains, and the media vote for FIFA awards. Messi, who won the record sixth Ballon d’Or award in 2019, had voted for Mane for his stellar 2018-19 campaign that saw the Senegal striker score 26 goals in 50 matches, across all tournaments.

It has been reported that Liverpool could lose two of its talented players this summer: Mane and Georginio Wijnaldum.

While Mane has three years left in his current contract, Wijnaldum’s Liverpool deal is due to expire in 2021 and the Dutch midfielder has not been offered an extension yet. Both the players reportedly are wanted by Barcelona as their new boss Koeman has a great relationship with both. Under Koeman, Wijnaldum played a key role in helping Netherlands reach the final of the UEFA Nations League, which they eventually lost to Portugal.

Spanish publication Mundo Deportivo has claimed that Mane has been unhappy at Barcelona and is ready to consider an offer from Barcelona. The report has revealed that Mane feels he is not given the same importance as Salah, Firmino, or Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson. Since Barcelona is set to undergo a transformation under Koeman, it would be a great opportunity for Mane to embrace a new challenge after having proved himself in England.

Sadio Mane scored the winner for Liverpool against Norwich Sadio Mane scored the winner for Liverpool against Norwich Photo: AFP / Oli SCARFF

The Spanish report has also disclosed that if Mane does choose to depart from Anfield, Liverpool reportedly will not accept any bid less than $142 million for their star winger.