Sadio Mane has been a cornerstone for Liverpool in their recent era of dominance in the Premier League and in Europe, yet according to reports, Bayern Munich’s interest in the winger could see the attacker leave Anfield.
The Senegal international is reportedly open to a move to Bavaria this summer, and with Bayern set to lose both Robert Lewandowski and Serge Gnabry, interest in Mane seems to make sense given his contract situation and age.
Indeed, Mane is hitting the prime of his career, and in a new role for Liverpool in the past few months as a centre-forward, the Reds’ no. 10 has evolved his game beyond his persona as a complete left-wing attacker.
Whilst it still remains unlikely that Mane will leave Liverpool despite Bayern’s interest in the forward, the thought alone does bring up an important question. Who can even replace the African superstar? Here, we give five suggestions.
Before Luis Diaz was signed in the January transfer window, the winger Liverpool was the most likely to sign was Arnaut Danjuma, though, to the surprise of the Reds, it was Unai Emery’s Villarreal who won the race to the Netherlands international.
Almost 12 months on from the transfer and an incredible debut campaign in Spain later, Liverpool are reportedly back in for Danjuma, and as a Mane replacement, the former AFC Bournemouth star could be an ideal option to take the Senegal star’s place.
With a reported release clause of €150m (£127m) and off the back of a historic title-winning season with AC Milan, to say Rafael Leao is a highly-rated prospect would be something of an understatement, and Liverpool are interested in the winger, according to reports.
Real Madrid are also eyeing the Portuguese international as a potential alternative to Kylian Mbappe, and if Liverpool are looking for a direct replacement for Mane who can play numerous attacking positions, it is hard to find a better young player in Europe than Leao.
A perhaps surprise inclusion on this list, but if reports are to be believed, Liverpool are interested in Napoli star Hirving Lozano, who looks set to leave the Serie A giants this summer after failing to impress under Luciano Spalletti.
Tricky and so demonic towards defenders that his nickname coming through in Mexico was ‘Chucky’, Lozano would be an interesting option to replace Mane but one that could work for Liverpool given how capable Jurgen Klopp’s side are of improving any and all players.
Another Napoli attacker, Victor Osimhen is the only name on this list who is natural a centre-forward and could be signed for Liverpool to lead the line that Mane has done so well in the past few months.
One of Italy’s best strikers, the Nigerian international seems almost destined to move to the Premier League one day, and as a player who Liverpool are reportedly interested in, Osimhen could replace both Mane and Roberto Firmino if the Reds make a move for the attacker.
Come on, you all knew Raheem Sterling was going to feature eventually on this list, and who can blame us? The Manchester City winger is one of the best attackers in the Premier League and has come a long way since leaving Liverpool in 2014.
Of course, opinions on the England international amongst Reds supporters remain very split, but there’s no denying that should Mane leave for Bayern this summer, Sterling would be a perfect player to replace the Liverpool star in what could be an incredible return to Anfield for the 27-year-old attacker.