We started off the international break with Madrid being linked with Sadio Mané as one of the many, many potential high quality targets for their upcoming overhaul. We spent the weekend with him being named Zinedine Zidane’s top target.
Now, with the international break nearly over and club football back on the menu to occupy everyone’s time, we end it with the revelation that it probably won’t happen and that Mané is likely to remain a Liverpool player. Quelle surprise, then.
Today, Spanish football expert Guillem Balague is saying the idea of Mané to Real Madrid this summer is “basically dead” as there is no realistic way the player could be pried away from Liverpool at something resembling a fair market price.
Which is something Liverpool fans could have told you at the start of the break. Mané has recently signed a new long-term deal with no release clause and is a more important player in a better side than Philippe Coutinho was when he left.
Meanwhile, Liverpool are better positioned than when Barcelona poached Coutinho—both from having fully re-established themselves in England and Europe and from having shown they wouldn’t be bullied in making Barcelona pay £142 for him.
Mané is more important to a better Liverpool side than Coutinho. Liverpool are in a stronger position to resist an unwanted sale than they were when he was sold. Add it up and, if Liverpool don’t want to sell. the price is going to be exorbitant.
And so, after a week of Marca trying to fill the football void that is the international break with Mané to Madrid talk, we have an admission that, despite Zidane’s admiration for the player, “There is no way to actually get Mané out of Liverpool.”
You’re damn right there isn’t, Madrid. So maybe go pester Chelsea about Eden Hazard instead—he’s only got a year left on his contract and they’re about to finish outside of the Champions League places for the second year running.