After a whirlwind season, this summer is shaping up to be a major one for Liverpool with the news that Sadio Mane wants to leave the club in the upcoming transfer window.
According to reports, the Senegal international is ready for a new challenge in his career, with Liverpool open to letting Mane leave this summer if they receive a transfer fee of £42m for the 30-year-old attacker.
With Bayern Munich the strong favourites to sign the Liverpool star, Mane leaving Merseyside for that transfer fee will be one of the club’s biggest sales, and with that in mind, what are the Reds’ five most expensive departures in their entire history?
Philippe Coutinho – Barcelona, £146m
The only place to start on this list is of course Philippe Coutinho, who in 2018 left Liverpool for a club-record fee of £146m to FC Barcelona, allowing the Reds to sign Virgil van Dijk that January and then Alisson Becker the following summer.
In terms of pure financial deals, this move could not have worked out better for Liverpool. Van Dijk and Alisson became two of the club’s most important players as the Reds won the UEFA Champions League the following year and then the Premier League in 2020.
As for Coutinho, we all know how this ended up. The Brazilian was a bona fide flop at Barcelona, so much so that his best moment during this spell was the winger scoring against the Catalan side for Bayern Munich in an 8-2 Champions League thrashing.
With the South American now back in the Premier League with Aston Villa, Coutinho will be hopeful of returning to the form that pushed Barcelona to spend close to £150m for the attacker in what could go down as one of the worst transfers the La Liga side will ever make, not that Liverpool are complaining, of course.
Luis Suarez – Barcelona, £75m
From one Barcelona disaster signing to one that was worth every penny, Luis Suarez signed for the Catalan giants in 2014 for £75m off the back of an insane Premier League campaign and FIFA World Cup that ended in controversy as the striker bit Giorgio Chiellini.
The incident resulted in Suarez being banned for the first four months from all football. Yet as soon as the striker was allowed to play, Barcelona became unstoppable, with the Uruguayan forming the lead role in the famous MSN front-three.
Lionel Messi, Suarez and Neymar are still arguably the best attacking trio to ever play together at club level, with the Barcelona players winning the treble in their first year, with the former Liverpool star eventually becoming the club’s third all-time leading goalscorer.
Fernando Torres – Chelsea, £50m
The year is 2022, and football fans are still making jokes about Fernando Torres’ move to Chelsea back in 2011, which at £50m was, at the time, a British transfer record as the Blues went out big to sign the Liverpool superstar in the January window.
The move looked perfect on paper, but as we know, Torres would become the poster boy for failed big-money moves, with the Spaniard taking three months to score his first goal for Chelsea and the striker leaving west London in 2015 for just £900,000.
To make matters worse for Chelsea, Liverpool used the £50m to sign Luis Suarez from Ajax, where, as mentioned earlier, the striker would become a phenom at Anfield before moving on to Barcelona for an even bigger fee than what Torres left for.
Raheem Sterling – Manchester City, £49m
One year after Suarez’s move to Barcelona, it was Raheem Sterling’s turn to depart Anfield as the England international joined Manchester City in a £49m move that made the winger public enemy number one on Merseyside, with many fans to this day still having unfavourable words on the 27-year-old star.
Just like Suarez, Sterling has enjoyed unrivalled success at City since joining the Manchester club seven years ago, with the winger a four-time Premier League champion and being named PFA Young Player of the Year in 2019, with the attacker also one of England’s best players in their run to the 2020 Euros final.
Xabi Alonso – Real Madrid, £30m
2009 was arguably the most ridiculous summer in the history of Real Madrid, with Los Blancos spending over £200m on eight new signings and breaking the world transfer record twice to bring in Kaka and then Cristiano Ronaldo. And amongst the volley of recruits was Liverpool’s own Xabi Alonso.
An Anfield icon after his role in Istanbul, Alonso joined Madrid for a reported £30m, with the La Liga side also signing Alvaro Arbelo from the Reds in the same window, yet unlike the defender, the Spanish midfielder flourished with the European giants, playing five seasons with the club before capping off his career with a move to Bayern Munich.