Liverpool star Sadio Mane is out of contract at the end of next season, with Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain linked with a move for the Senegal international
Jamie Carragher was speaking about Mohamed Salah, but the words should also have been ringing in the ears of his Liverpool colleague.
For much of 2022, the focus surrounding contract negotiations at Anfield has been on either Jurgen Klopp or top scorer Salah. And with the manager’s deal extended, the questions instantly returned to the Egyptian.
But in the clutch months of the season, it is Sadio Mane who has come to the party, pushing Liverpool ever closer to an unprecedented quadruple. They may fall short in the race for the Premier League, but everyone associated with the Reds know he will be integral in the battle for the two remaining trophies.
Since Senegal’s victorious AFCON campaign came to a close, Mane has 12 goals, including one in each leg of their Champions League semi-final victory over Villarreal. But like Salah, his future remains in doubt.
Liverpool’s iconic front three – including Roberto Firmino – are all out of contract next summer and the chances of the trio all agreeing to new terms appear, at best, unlikely. Bayern Munich were the first to be linked with Mane, before Paris Saint-Germain emerged as potential suitors earlier this week.
Reports via GFFN claim that PSG would actually be the favorites to sign the 30-year-old, if he does not sign a new deal this summer and that his hesitancy to pen that contract is down to their interest.
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But Mane has very recent examples that the grass is not always greener and that leaving Liverpool is not always the wisest option. Just last summer, Gini Wijnaldum departed as a genuine club icon, who had gone from underrated, to vastly appreciated on Merseyside.
A season on and his future is unclear having failed to ever establish himself in Ligue 1 and Mauricio Pochettino’s richly assembled team of superstars. And while Carragher’s warning was for Mane’s team-mate, it could have easily been in his direction.
“Jurgen Klopp has turned good players into great players, and Mo Salah was one of them. He was a very good player, now he’s become a superstar,” Carragher told Sky Sports.
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“Gini Wijnaldum was one of them. Coutinho was one of them. Emre Can was another one, who was not quite at that level. But these are three players who maybe thought they deserved more off Liverpool in terms of wages. They made a move and it’s never been the same for them.I think that’s a lesson for Mo Salah going forward.
“Not that he’s not a great player, but this suits him. The Premier League suits him, Jurgen Klopp suits him, this club suits him. And this is where he’s been a superstar, nowhere else before.
“He might do it somewhere else, but I think he should remember about two or three of those players who have left Liverpool thinking the grass is greener on the other side, maybe wages-wise.”
Once viewed as a player whom Liverpool had overpaid for when they sent £ 30million to Southampton, Mane is now widely acknowledged as one of the world’s best players. He has of course, done so much himself, but the synergy between player and coach should not be overstated and with contract talks set to truly begin in a matter of weeks, he may be wise to remember that fact.