There’s the biggest party in world football next weekend, and for the first time in ages Real Madrid are not invited. However, not content to sit around while other, especially English, clubs get the attention, the Spanish Giants need to make themselves relevant somehow.
And so it is that they’re back in the press, talking about how they’d really like Liverpool winger Sadio Mane, but those Scousers want €200 million (£176 million) for him. And that’s just too expensive, yes-sir-ee.
That is the tale that is currently being spun by Spanish journalist Eduardo Inda, who went on the TV program El Chiringuito de Jugones to describe how Real Madrid president Florentino Perez just won’t be suckered into such a large fee!
“Mane, for which Liverpool has asked 200 million euros and Florentino has said no,” Inda said, whilst also name-dropping Courtois and Pogba.
This seems to be the transfer rumor equivalent of “You can’t fire me, I quit!”
Considering Liverpool’s preparations for the Champions League final, it seems unlikely that anyone at the club would be willing to even discuss Mane’s possible departure, for any fee, right now.
While it’s likely that Zinedine Zidane would want Mane, Real Madrid must be aware of both the player’s new contract, signed in November, keeping him at the club until the summer of 2023, and of the last time a Spanish team tried to poach a recently tied down Liverpool player, namely Barcelona and Philippe Coutinho.
On this second point, Perez must have seen Liverpool’s unwillingness to sell the player at anything less than an exorbitant fee, and (rightfully) figures it would be the same with Mane. Given the length of contract that remains, and Mane’s importance to Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool, ~€200 million doesn’t feel so far off what would likely be required to pry the player free from Merseyside.
As such, it’s much easier for the club to pretend that they tried, but that those bastards at Liverpool are just being unreasonable. Now, if you Madridistas could do us a solid and poach some Manchester City players, that would be great.