Liverpool boss Jurgen klopp speaks on his ideal Sadio Mane replacement as they look to hijack Man United target
Sadio Mané still has a year left on his contract after what appears to be his final appearance for Liverpool.
Sadio Mane established himself as an Anfield legend during his tenure with the club, scoring an amazing solo goal against Arsenal as soon as he joined.
He was also a major figure throughout Jürgen Klopp’s tenure, but after won every title possible at the highest level of English football, few would blame the 30-year-old for looking for a fresh challenge. After all, he’s been in the Premier League for eight years.
But the Reds can’t simply move him on for sentimental reasons. While no player deserves the right to decide when his Liverpool career comes to an end more than Erling Haaland, Liverpool must proceed with prudence in the summer, when Haaland is expected to join Manchester City.
When Mané returned from the Africa Cup of Nations, Klopp appeared to have discovered a new tactic, with the Senegalese international deployed as the middle man between Luis Diaz and Mohamed Salah.
Liverpool’s front line, which had previously struggled, suddenly boasted a mix of talent that nearly secured one of the most remarkable title comebacks in Premier League history.
For that reason alone, Liverpool cannot afford to lose Mané without first securing a successor.
There’s no questioning the brilliance that Roberto Firmino and Diogo Jota bring to the team, but depth is a key aspect in determining whether or not the Reds can continue to dominate on all fronts.
Darwin Nunez, a striker for Benfica, could be the man to replace Mané. Klopp is now without a target striker who can make a difference from the bench, with Divock Origi poised to go.
Last season, Origi’s presence provided Liverpool with a crucial change of style in difficult games, allowing the Reds to win against Norwich City, Wolves, and Everton.
Nunez, 22, would join the club at an age when his worth is only going to rise despite recent rumours claim they are aiming for at least £80 million to sell him.
After being able to reach a £37 million initial fee contract with Porto for Luis Daz, the Reds would need all of their negotiation skills.
Despite scoring 32 goals in 39 games last season, Nez’s game is bound to have faults that he must address.
In those games, he only had four assists, and some of his passes left a lot to be desired, especially considering how Liverpool uses its centre-forward.
However, as a pure striker, the Uruguay international has the ability to soar under Klopp.
Before coming to Merseyside, the German coach had a track record of developing strikers, having worked with the likes of Robert Lewandowski and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
But, even better, the Reds would swoop in for a Manchester United transfer, with Erik ten Hag eyeing Nunez as his first big signing.
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