David James has suggested that now would be the ‘perfect’ time for Sadio Mane to leave Liverpool.
Speaking to the Sky Sports Football Show as transcribed by Liverpool Echo, the former Reds ‘keeper said that Mane had won everything there is to win in England. As a result, he may now be inclined to be one of the players leaving Liverpool this sumemr.
“I was just looking at his achievements. I think the FA Cup is the only trophy he hasn’t won in England,” said James. “You add the Champions League, the Africa Cup of Nations, then this guy is in the purple patch of his career. I think he is still the record-holder for the quickest hat-trick in the Premier League as well.
“If you have an optimum time where you can make the most of a move, given that he isn’t English then, therefore, he’s a traveller. The idea of going to Germany and playing for Bayern Munich would be something that suits his overall career.
“Now is the time to do it for Sadio Mane as much as I know Liverpool fans will be saying ‘no I want him to stay till the end of his career’. If he has a perfect opportunity, then this season will be it.”
In truth there is some sense to what James is saying. Mane has been terrific since the day he signed for Liverpool and all good things must come to an end.
On the other hand, recently he has been looking as good as ever. It’s still possible for Liverpool to win one, two or three more trophies this season. Why would you want to play anywhere else right now?
Mane not short of options
Mane’s contract situation is a delicate one and it still isn’t settled. The longer it goes on, the longer we will inevitably have to hear pundits analysing the situation around the clock.
Only Mane and his agents will know what their plans are. It seems as though Liverpool do want to keep the 30-year-old and have reportedly begun talks over a new deal for him.
Other reports suggest that he has many-a-suitor on the continent. Some of those suitors such as Barcelona, are said to have already been in touch with Mane.
In short, he has options. If you’d have asked most Liverpool fans six months ago, they’d have told you that Mohamed Salah’s renewal was the most pressing matter at the club. Mane was struggling and the signing of Luis Diaz really did make it look like his time at the club was winding down.
Fast-forward to the end of the season and Mane has completely turned his form around. The £34m man has scored 12 goals in 22 games since winning the AFCON trophy with Senegal.
Liverpool’s sluggishness in getting both player’s contracts signed is now coming back to bite them. If they’re not willing to meet the legendary pair’s demands, no doubt there’ll be a number of clubs who will.