John Barnes has shared his thoughts about Sadio Mane’s impending move from Liverpool to Bayern Munich.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Barnes compared Mane’s exit to that of Gini Wijnaldum, who left Liverpool for PSG last year.
“This is modern football, players come, players go,” said Barnes. “I think that what clubs should demand from their players is that while they’re at the club they give 100% commitment, effort, determination, humility for the club, and that’s what he did, very much like Gini Wijnaldum.”
The Liverpool legend then suggested that although Mane’s decision was football related, there may be some financial motivation too.
“Yes, it’s sad to see him go, but he decided he needed a new challenge, obviously financially it’s a better move for him also,” he said. “But I think overall you can’t complain with what he’s done, because while he was here he was a fantastic servant for the club.”
Bayern offering what Liverpool won’t
It would be a shame if Mane’s reasons for leaving the club were purely financial.
There were reports that the 30-year-old was asking to become far-and-away the club’s top earner to sign a new deal. With his age, and some signs of decline over recent years, that was never going to happen.
But it does raise some questions about Liverpool’s wage structure that Bayern were seemingly willing to stump up a much better salary.
Liverpool’s insistence on keeping the wage bill balanced is obviously very prudent in business terms. It has also served he club well and still allowed them to sign and nurture top players.
Missing out on top targets
There are times when The Reds frugality can be a real hindrance, though. Just yesterday it was reported that Liverpool missed out on signing Jadon Sancho last year because they wouldn’t match his salary demands.
The suggestion is also that The Reds could well miss out on Jude Bellingham due to a similar reason.
Sancho has struggled at Manchester United and Bellingham may or may not be the answer to Liverpool’s midfield revamp. But the point remains that Liverpool can’t keep pulling rabbits like Luis Diaz out of the hat forever.
If you’re unwilling to pay top dollar for top talent, then you’ll soon get left behind. Liverpool have, to their immense credit, managed to keep up whilst not going overboard on any player and destabilising the dressing room.
But it looks like their policy could also cost them Mohamed Salah in a year’s time. The balance sheet may say otherwise, but if Liverpool are going to stay competitive in the long-term, their approach may have to change soon.
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