Liverpool have intensified their interest in signing Southampton striker Sadio Mane and are willing to pay £30 million for the player, according to the BBC.
Neverthless given that Southampton officials previously indicated that they would require to receive £40 million to allow Mane to leave, a significant amount of negotiation will need to take place between the two clubs prior to any deal being finalised.
After scoring only three goals in 29 Premier League appearances last season up until mid-March, Mane then found the net eight times in eight games. That excellent run of form began when Mane scored twice to help Southampton recover from 2-0 down to beat Liverpool 3-2 at St Mary’s on March 20, in an individual performance which greatly impressed Jurgen Klopp.
As such the Liverpool manager has identified Mane as an ideal candidate to strengthen his attacking options for the 2016/2017 season. Should Liverpool be successful in their pursuit of the Sengalese striker, it is thought that they would attempt to redeem the transfer fee paid for him by selling Christian Benteke and Mario Balotelli.
Despite the eccentric Italian striker being set to participate in Liverpool’s pre-season training which starts on July 2 the club are keen to off-load the player, who scored just three goals in 23 appearances whilst on loan at AC Milan last season, to the highest bidder, according to The Liverpool Echo.
Should Mane move to Anfield, he would follow in the footsteps of former Southampton players Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert, Dejan Lovren and Nathaniel Clyne, each of whom have signed for Liverpool since 2014, with the quartet reportedly costing Liverpool approximately £61.5 million in transfer fees. Since the figure Southampton are understood to be demanding for Mane is over half that amount, in order to secure his services it may be necessary for Liverpool to break their record transfer spend of £35 million, which they paid to Newcastle for Andy Carroll in January 2011.
After helping Senegal qualify for the African Cup of Nations, Mane is on holiday but is on standby to return to England as negotiations between Southampton and Liverpool over his transfer progress.