It’s the international break. Which means that between worrying about Liverpool players getting hurt and twiddling our thumbs we’ve mostly been dealing with an unstoppable wave of transfer speculation. Good times, then.
There’s been the Loris Karius saga at Besiktas, Liverpool supposedly still being in the hunt to land Callum Hudson-Odoi, and most worryingly for Reds fans, a push by Marca to link Real Madrid with a summer move for Sadio Mané.
That push continues today with a front page story in the Madrid-mouthpiece’s Spanish edition, as Marca suggest it will be Mané and not Chelsea’s Eden Hazard who will be the La Liga giant’s top wing target now that Zidane is back.
At least on the surface it fits with the idea that Hazard has long been the top priority for President Florentino Perez while Zinedine Zidane prefers Mané—and having returned to save Madrid, he now has the power to get him.
Of course, it’s hard to say how much there is to any of this. Even at the best of times—and it’s not the best of times, it’s an international break—Marca are going to link Madrid with every big name, in form player on the planet.
It’s just what they do. And Madrid are hardly going to sign all of the lengthy list of supposed top targets they’ve already attached to Zidane’s project, even if odds are Marca might get one or two right by sheer dumb luck if nothing else.
Liverpool also won’t be powerless in things if they do, in fact, come knocking, as Mané recently signed a new deal with no release clause and the club remain confident of holding on to him and all their other top stars this summer.
Still, for whatever it might signal or mean or add up to, Zidane and Madrid wanting to sign Mané is currently the story for Marca. So we can’t really not acknowledge it. Even if we mostly think it deserves a shrug in response, at least for now.