Sadio Mane transfer truth clear despite Liverpool ‘missing out’ on £9m for attacking duo



As the dust settles on Sadio Mane’s move to Bayern Munich, opinions will inevitably be split in the Liverpool fanbase as supporters debate whether the Reds have done the right thing by sanctioning the Senegalese’s departure. The fact that the Bavarians are currently digging their heels in regarding their own wantaway forward in Robert Lewandowski only heightens such animated discussions.

On one hand, the Senegal international is a Liverpool legend. He scored 120 goals across six years as he helped fire the Reds to Premier League and Champions League glory. Still under-contract for another year, should the club have fought harder to keep him at Anfield until the summer of 2023 at least?

Meanwhile, the other argument is Liverpool have enjoyed Mane ’s best years already, even if he is a success at Bayern. With the Reds looking to refresh their front-line, it was a shrewd move to cash in on a 30-year-old entering the final months of his contract and still being able to move him on for a profit.

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Whichever side of that debate you fall, a further disagreement arose once details of the agreed deal between Liverpool and Bayern emerged.

The ECHO understands the overall package is worth just over £35m after the clubs agreed a €41m deal for the Senegalese. The Reds will receive a fixed fee of €32m (£27.4m) with a further €9m (£7.7m) in add-ons.

From those add-ons, Liverpool will pocket €6m (£5.1m) based on appearances with the remaining €3m (£2.6m) based on individual and team achievements. The fee eclipses what the Reds paid Southampton for the forward back in 2016, with that deal proving to be worth £31m with a further £2.5m in add-ins. The Saints do not receive any additional money from Mane’s move to Bayern Munich.

Considering Bayern had already seen two bids rejected, the first worth £21.5m with £4.3m add-ons, which were all based on individual and team achievements, and the second offer a £30m package, worth only an initial £23.5m, with Liverpool only standing to bank the full total if the Bavarians won the Champions League and Mane won the Ballon d’Or for three consecutive years.

The fact that the Reds were able to get the offer upped to a £35m package has been viewed as a success, with €41m close to double the initial outlay Liverpool paid Bayern for Thiago Alcantara, who also only had a year left on his contract, two years ago. Yet, considering the original asking-price made public for Mane was £42.5m, it is understandable why some would perceive that the forward has been sold on the cheap.

Bayern singing about how they’ve brought in a world class player for a bargain fee hasn’t helped that narrative from a Reds point of view. Yet it can’t be overlooked that, despite his qualities, Mane is a 30-year-old with who had just a year left on his contract.

As a result, Liverpool weren’t negotiating from a position of strength. With the player also wanting to depart, they were never going to be able to demand a club-record fee for the Senegalese.

As a result, despite the public £42.5m asking price, behind closed doors, club bosses were well-aware that £35m was a more realistic fee. Meeting Bayern for face-to-face negotiations following those first two rejected bids, a compromise was met and the Reds managed to agree a price that they had more or less privately earmarked.

It looks to be a similar story with Takumi Minamino as he closes in on a move to AS Monaco. While an asking-price of £17m was made public, Liverpool have accepted a £15.5m package for the Japan international, worth £12.9m upfront with a further £2.6m in add-ons.

The 27-year-old has two years left on his contract yet his fringe status and potential desire to move again dictates the fee the Reds can realistically command. Meanwhile, having set a £15m asking-price for the likes of Neco Williams, with the likes of Fulham and Nottingham Forest chasing after him, the Wales international is likely to be another example of the fee Liverpool end up receiving actually proving to be marginally less.

To some, it is easy to point the finger and label such dealings as transfer failings from the Reds considering they’ve not received what they originally wanted. But take a step back and it’s just good business as Liverpool haggle and look to get the best possible deal for the club.

They haven’t missed out on £9m when selling Mane and Minamino as a result. Rather, sporting director Julian Ward has ensured the club head into negotiations for these wantaway stars in the strongest negotiating position possible.

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