We’re pretty sure that, at the end of the day, Sadio Mané to Real Madrid isn’t an actual thing that’s actually likely to happen. It feels a case of taking a player who was linked to Madrid in the past and, now that Zinedine Zidane is back, linking him again.
It’s easy, and it’s lazy, and it’s the sort of thing the rumour mongers do when they get tired of finding new ways to package Eden Hazard to Madrid stories. Still, until Hazard actually does end up at Madrid, it’s likely we’re going to keep hearing it.
And we’ve got an interesting twist this week, as floated by the Spanish ‘mongers and re-told to English audiences in The Guardian’s rumour column, with Madrid apparently set to offer the Reds a swap deal and Raphaël Varane in return for Mané.
First off, it’s worth pointing out for the uninitiated that player swaps almost never happen, and the greater the value of the players involved the less likely they are to actually have a hope in hell of ever maybe possibly having a chance of happening.
Still, for the sake of argument, if Madrid do want Mané—along a half-dozen other signings who could add up to a billion pounds worth of players—then offering Liverpool a highly-rated centre half is at least a creative way about getting there.
It’s the kind of transfer that, at least in theory, would probably make fans on both sides pause for a second to at least give it consideration. Because the 25-year-old Varane is good. Like case for being one of the top five CBs in the world good.
He’s also said to have grown increasingly disillusioned at Madrid this season, and there have been recent rumours he’d like a move to England to give himself a new challenge, with Manchester United so far the most prominently linked option.
So. Is there going to be a swap deal, Mané for Varane? Almost certainly not. But it’s at least interesting. Which, hey, I guess it’s the international break if we’re going to have to deal with wall to wall transfer rumours they might as well be interesting?
Also, if Varane really is going to be moved on this summer—either to help fund purchases or because the player himself is pushing for a move—maybe Liverpool should just keep Mané and buy Varane outright. That’d be our vote if we’re getting one.