Liverpool pursuit of Sadio Mane has really gathered pace in the past couple of days.
The Reds are reportedly closing in on a £30 million move for the Southampton forward with the two clubs continuing to hold talks over the coming days.
Many Liverpool fans are questioning the large amount their club is willing to splash out on the 24-year-old after expensive mistakes in the transfer window previously. However, the BBC are reporting that the Merseysiders are hoping to recoup as much of the £30 million as possible by selling Christian Benteke.
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Former manager, Brendan Rodgers, spent £32.5 million on the Belgian striker last summer but Benteke has found first-team football hard to come by under Jurgen Klopp.
The former Aston Villa forward doesn’t appear to fit the German manager’s philosophy and only managed 10 goals in his 42 appearances in all competitions last season.
It’s highly doubtful that the club will receive the amount they paid for the striker just 12 months ago but the club are likely to still hold out hope for receiving more than £20 million.
Mane would certainly suit Klopp’s style more than Benteke. The Senegal international can operate as either a striker or a winger and his pace and work-rate is exactly what Klopp is looking for this summer.
And if Liverpool can sell Benteke for a similar amount they shell out for Mane, they can consider it very good business indeed.
Mane at Southampton
Mane has been at Southampton for two seasons having signed from Austrian side Red Bull Salzburg for £11.8 million.
During his two years on the South Coast, Mane has notched 25 goals in 75 appearances in all competitions, including a brace against Klopp’s Liverpool in March as the Saints came back from 2-0 down to win 3-2.
But it wasn’t the first time Mane had upset Liverpool fans.
At the end of the 2014/15 season, he broke Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler’s record of scoring the Premier League’s latest hat-trick when he managed to score three times in 2 minutes 56 seconds in a 6-1 win against Aston Villa.
Southampton to Liverpool
Of course, a Southampton player moving to Liverpool is something we’ve got quite used to. Adam Lallana, Dejan Lovren, Rickie Lambert and Nathaniel Clyne have all made the switch in recent years.
If Mane does arrive for £30 million, he would become the third most expensive signing in Liverpool’s history but will be hoping to be more successful than the two players that commanded a bigger fee - Benteke and Andy Carroll.