Scott Groom discusses Sadio Mane’s ongoing contract situation at Liverpool, with negotiations being held up by a reason that still unknown.
Alongside Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mané is up there as one of Liverpool’s most influential players and has endeared himself to the Reds faithful with some magic moments and big performances since his big-money move from Southampton back in 2016.
The Senegalese has been a revelation since his arrival at Anfield, injecting pace, trickery and incisiveness into Klopp’s attack and becoming one of the most feared attackers in the Premier League in the process.
However, unlike the aforementioned Firmino and Salah, Mané is a player who has yet to agree fresh, extended and improved terms with Liverpool – and this is becoming a growing concern.
Mané currently has two-and-a-half years remaining on his contract at Liverpool, so there is still plenty of time for Klopp and the backroom staff to work closely with Sadio and his representatives to come together and hash out a deal.
However, the two parties have already got their heads together to open negotiations about a new deal – so what’s the delay?
Perhaps one of the bigger concerns is that deals for Firmino and Salah were reached wise haste and ease, which begs the question as to what is holding things up with a similar deal for Sadio.
The longer time goes by without the much-welcomed picture of a smiling Sadio sitting with a pen in his hand, signing a crisp, new, long-term contract, the more Kopites will worry.
Not only this, the longer this impasse continues, the more alert rival clubs will become to the situation and become more tempted to make a cut-price offer for one of Klopp’s most prized assets.
Mané is a player Liverpool could ill afford to lose, regardless as to how many good backup options we have in the squad at present. To see him leave and continue his upward trajectory at another big club – potentially a rival one – would be very difficult to stomach for Liverpool fans: especially as Klopp has been very clear that he does not want his Club to be a selling club any more.
There are, without questions, a few reasons to be a bit worried about the whole situation. But, there are also many reasons to simply cast it to one side for now, at least.
The Liverpool Echo’s main man, James Pearce, has recently tried to put out any of the above-mentioned fires by calming the situation down. In a Q&A session for The Echo, he said that Sadio is “clearly happy” with his life on Merseyside and that the relationship between the Club and Mané’s agent remains on good terms.
Good News Pearce is better than Bad News Pearce. We like Good News Pearce.
He also added that Liverpool currently don’t seem concerned that the early stages of contract talks seem to have not progressed further than the preliminary stages, clearly showing that both parties are relaxed about the situation and know they’ll get things sorted in the very near future.
Pearce goes on to say that should things remain the same come the summer, things would be a bit more concerning but it’s not something that he himself is losing any sleep over.
I think this is because Liverpool may simply have thrown the gauntlet down for Sadio. He had a great season last time out, and they may have said: “Do that again, and we’ll reward you. Handsomely.”
Both Mané and Liverpool will be happy with that – improved terms for Sadio if he performs, pushing him to perform better. If he performs better as a result of this, Liverpool benefit. Win-win.
The situation with his contract doesn’t appear to be posing any problems on the pitch either, so this may be why Liverpool are waiting. Yes, there’s been a little bit of speculation surrounding his future, but nothing to put anyone at panic stations.
It appears the Club and Mané are taking things as they come, going about their business as per usual and when the time comes, it’s inevitable that he’ll be offered a new deal. It’d make no sense not to.
I’m not worried by the whole scenario, and I don’t think Klopp is. Maybe Sadio has turned down new talks because he just wants to focus on his football? Maybe work is going on in the background and things are on a bit of a slow burn – like negotiations for Keita and van Dijk have been in the past.
I wouldn’t put it past Liverpool to spring a new contract announcement for our Number 10 out of nowhere, but I’m happy to wait – and so is Sadio Mané.
Patience is a virtue, and I believe Sadio will be rewarded tenfold for this.