It has been officially confirmed that Darwin Nunez will be leaving Benfica this summer and signing with the English giants Liverpool. Ahead of this transfer lies the future of Sadio Mane in Liverpool. The Senegalese striker is expected to be leaving the club to help Liverpool fund the ~$80 million dollar transfer of Darwin Nunez.
Liverpool is currently valuing Sadio Mane at around $40 million and expects Bayern Munich to meet this valuation. On the other hand, Bayern Munich could hold off on this signing as the Senegalese striker’s contract expires next year, which makes him a steal as a free transfer. Mane first joined Liverpool at the age of 26-year-old from Southampton on a five-year contract in June 2016 for a fee of £34m. After, he extended his contract further and re-signed until 2023.
It has already been publicly announced that Liverpool rejected Bayern Munich’s initial bit of £30m for Mane. The next few weeks will tell whether the German giants agree to sign and value Mane at his £40m price tag or wait until next season.
Mané was born in Bambali, Sédhiou, Senegal. He pursued a career in football despite his father who was an imam forbidding him from playing the sport as a child; however, his father died when he was seven years old. He later escaped his home village and went to Dakar at age 15 to pursue his ambition of becoming a footballer, since then he was supported by his family to fulfill his potential.
In 2009, when playing in M’Bour, he was spotted by scouts and later referred to Génération Foot, where he helped them to promote to the second division in the 2010–11 season.
In 2011, Mané joined Metz which had a partnership with Génération Foot. He made his professional debut on 14 January 2012, coming on as a substitute for Kévin Diaz in the 75th minute of a 0–1 home defeat against Bastia in Ligue 2. He made 19 appearances in his first league season, 12 as a starter, and scored a solitary goal in a 2–5 loss to Guingamp at the Stade Saint-Symphorien on 4 May. Metz was relegated to the Championnat National at the end of the season.
On 31 August 2012, Mané moved to Austrian Bundesliga side Red Bull Salzburg for the third biggest transfer fee that FC Metz had ever received. The fee was believed to be €4 million.
He scored his first hat-trick for the club on 31 October, in a 3–1 away win at SC Kalsdorf in the third round of the Austrian Cup.
On 27 October 2013, he netted his first hat-trick in the Austrian Bundesliga, during a 3–0 win away to Grödig. He scored another treble on 7 May 2014 as Salzburg won 7–0 at Horn in the cup semi-finals; the season ended with the team winning a domestic double. At the end of August 2014 Mané forced a transfer out of the club, by not coming to the training and to the most important game for Salzburg at that time to qualify for the Champions League.
On 1 September 2014, Mané transferred to Premier League side Southampton for £11.8 million, signing a four-year contract. He made his debut 22 days later in a 2–1 League Cup victory over Arsenal, winning the penalty for Southampton’s first goal. He made his first league appearance for the club in another 2–1 victory over Queens Park Rangers on 27 September, starting and assisting Ryan Bertrand for the first goal of the game. He scored his first goal for the club in an 8–0 victory over Sunderland on 18 October, although this was subsequently credited as an own goal by Patrick van Aanholt. He did, however, score his first goal in his next game, a 1–0 win over Stoke City a week later.
On 28 June 2016, Mané joined Liverpool for a transfer fee of £34 million on a five-year contract. The transfer fee made him the most expensive African player in history at the time. On 14 August, he made his Premier League debut for the Reds, scoring the fourth goal in a 4–3 away win against Arsenal. Having missed Liverpool’s defeat at Burnley through a slight shoulder injury, Mané returned to the starting line-up against Burton Albion in the League Cup where he had two assists in a 5–0 win.