Senegalese forward Sadio Mane has ended his trophy-filled six-year stay on Merseyside to join German champions Bayern as he embarks on a new chapter in his career
Bayern have concluded a move for the Senegalese superstar in a £35.1million agreement – an upfront payment of £27.5million, with £5million based on appearances and a further £2.6m on individual and team accolades – just weeks after Mane told his Reds teammates of his intentions of leaving the club in the aftermath of the side’s Champions League final defeat against Real Madrid.
The 30-year-old had entered the final year of his contract at Anfield and as soon as he openly spoke of his desire to bring his six-year stint at Anfield to an end, his exit was inevitable with Bayern the inevitable destination and the Bavarian club were also frontrunners for any deal.
Bayern had two opening offers for Mane knocked back but after a Bayern delegation flew to Merseyside on Friday with a third bid for the forward submitted, the deal was a matter of time. Mane has now been pictured in a Bayern kit for the first time and he has said his first words following the deal.
As quoted by Bild, Mane explained: “When my agent first told me about Bayern’s interest, I was immediately excited. I saw myself there right away. It’s one of the biggest clubs in the world and the team is always fighting for every title. So for me it was a very good idea and the right decision to come here.
“My agent told me that there were enquiries from other clubs. That’s part of the business. But I got the feeling right away when Bayern presented their plan to me. I found myself in Bayern’s plan more than anyone else.”
Mane played in three Champions League finals for the Reds, scoring in the 2018 showpiece and winning the competition a year later, and is confident he can replicate that feat at Bayern. He added: “I don’t want to say no. Every kid wants to win the Champions League, every football player in the world. I’m with a very, very competitive team now.
“But it’s still a bit early to talk about the Champions League final, we haven’t even played a game together yet. Nevertheless we will give everything to get into the final.”
Mane joins a fearsome group of attackers at Bayern but there is ongoing speculation over the future of Robert Lewandowski, who has been linked with Barcelona, but the Senegalese continued: “I’m not a player who focuses on things like that. I’m here for FC Bayern. And I will do everything to win titles with my teammates!”
Earlier this month, Mane suggested he was following the wishes of his nation’s fans by leaving the Reds. However, he later insisted he was “joking” with those comments and maintains full respect for Liverpool. This move ends a sparkling six-year stint on Merseyside during which he scored 120 goals in 269 matches.
The forward began his professional career at French club Metz before starring for two seasons at Red Bull Salzburg, before joining Southampton in the summer of 2014. Two productive campaigns on the English South Coast preceded his switch to Liverpool in the first summer transfer window under Jurgen Klopp.
Mane became part of a fearsome three-pronged attack alongside Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino, but the additions of Diogo Jota, Luis Diaz and Darwin Nunez in recent times has ensured great rotation. However, Mane has remained a regular starter alongside Salah and Diaz.