Sadio Mane transfer: Liverpool star wants to move and Bayern Munich make perfect sense

Sadio Mane transfer: Liverpool star wants to move and Bayern Munich make perfect sense

As the dust settles on Liverpool’s defeat to Real Madrid in the Champions League final, they may have another loss to deal with as star Sadio Mane is set to depart the club. According to CBS Sports soccer insider Fabrizio Romano, Mane has decided to leave Liverpool thissummer.

He’s now ready for a new challenge after winning the Premier League, FA Cup, EFL Cup, Champions League, and Club World Cup with Liverpool. He also won the Africa Cup of Nations with Senegal in 2021 wrapping up a star-studded time with the Reds. Mane joined the Reds in 2016 from Southampton and has scored 120 goals in 269 games.

With the signing of Luis Diaz, Mane has been playing more as a center forward than his natural left wing position, which may be one of the things making him an interesting target to the club leading the race for his services. Romano reports that Bayern Munich are the strongest contenders to sign him.

But what makes Mane, 30, so intriguing for Julian Nagelsmann at Bayern Munich? Let’s take a look:

Possible replacement for Robert Lewandowski

It’s no secret that Bayern’s star striker Robert Lewandowski could be leaving for Barcelona as he remains coy about his future. However, the German giants remain interested in Sasa Kalajdzic, according to Sky Sports. And it makes sense following a promising season for Stuttgart, but Lewandowski’s shoes would be quite large to fill for the 24-year-old. Mane’s experience, on the other hand, can help because in 51 appearances in all competitions for Liverpool, he’s made 30 starts as a left winger and 18 as a center forward, adding some versatility that Bayern could use.

Mane was actually a little more effective through the middle though, scoring 12 goals and assisting two more compared to scoring 11 and assisting three from the wing. If a move to Germany would mean more Mane in the middle, then it could not only extend his career but also make Bayern Munich more unpredictable as it gives Nagelsmann a fluid front three instead of Lewandowski being marked out of big games for them.

More tools in Nagelsmann’s bag of tricks

Speaking of the front three, Nagelsmann is a manager who likes to tinker. Bayern Munich used five different formations this season with the majority of their matches being played from a base 4-2-3-1. If Mane is to replace Lewandowski at the type of that, a front four of Kingsley Coman, Thomas Muller, Serge Gnabry and Mane would be almost be without set positions. It’s a manager’s dream and a defender’s nightmare to have so many players who can take up different positions, and that’s before accounting for late runs from deep by Leon Goretzka and Joshua Kimmich.

Even if Mane actually displaces Coman on the wing, then Bayern get another dangerous option on the bench to sub in and change the game. It would almost mirror Jurgen Klopp’s usage of Mane since Luis Diaz arrived in January. He can start on the wing or through the middle then move centrally or wide by adding Diogo Jota or Roberto Firmino.

What if it’s actually a move to replace Gnabry?

Lewandowski isn’t the only member of Bayern with links to leaving as Gnabry is also running down his contract. Gnabry has mainly deputized on the right for Bayern Munich but the addition of Mane is more to replace goal output than a like for like swap. Coman is more comfortable on the right and Bayern also have Leroy Sane on the bench. But adding Mane could potentially push Gnabry out the door, depending on the direction the club wants to go in for the attack.

After a disappointing season in Europe, falling to underdogs Villarreal in the UCL quarters, a lot of changes are expected for the Bavarians. Adding Mane would be a positive start for a team with the talent to return to European supremacy.

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