After assembling one of the strongest squads in world football, Liverpool FC have expended significant monetary effort to lock it in for the long-term. Key players such as Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, and Jordan Henderson have already received lucrative contract extensions well into the roaring 2020’s with others mooted to be in line for the same treatment.
Curiously, one of those names rumored to currently be in negotiations for a new deal is winger, Sadio Mané. While an extension of the Liverpool star is not the surprise in itself, espeically with the Senegalese forward’s growing influence on side seeing him win the Premier League Golden Ball last season, it is rather the timing of the rumors given that 27-year-old only signed a new deal less than a year ago in November 2018.
Nonetheless, Italian journalist, Nicolo Schira insists that the club are ready to reward Mané’s clear progression in the past 10 months by improving on his £150,000-a-week contract that currently has him tied to Anfield until 2023.
Discussions are said to centered around an extension that would bump the contract end date to 2025 and set the player on a £220,000-a-week salary.
This figure would usurp the £200,000-a-week earned by teammate Salah as well as the £180,000-a-week currently earned by Firmino and Ballon d’Or frontrunner Virgil Van Dijik, himself rumored to be closing in on a new deal.
The club’s aggressive approach to maintaining squad unity has seen Liverpool leapfrog their Premier League rivals Manchester City in the wage bill table at last official count (£263m to City’s £260m) and make up ground on the publicly-traded Manchester United, who’s £296m-worth of wages have received a haircut after shedding some of the bloat on their roster.
Be it recognizing the the market’s undervaluation of defenders and goalkeepers with then-world record transfers for Van Dijk and Alisson Becker; leading the data-based transfer revolution; revamping Europe’s best defense to take advantage of VAR’s empowerment of the offside trap; dreaming up exotically-constructed transfers or simply hiring the world’s only throw-in coach, Fenway Sports Group and Jürgen Klopp have sought to be innovators in the modern game by defying staid conventional wisdom espoused by proper football men, instead opting to forge new paths.
All of which means that while the eye-popping numbers being shelled out in contract extensions might make the financially-prudent supporters of a Liverpool club run by financially-prudent owners wince, there is method to the madness. The facts are that the Reds have secured back-to-back Champions League final appearances, a European Cup, a club-record points haul and are set for yearly Premier League title challenges as the fruit of a comprehensive multi-year project.
Best to just sit back and trust FSG, trust Klopp and trust the process.