What Bayern Munich boss Julian Nagelsmann has said about Sadio Mane amid Liverpool exit links
Sadio Mane has been linked with a switch to Bayern Munich.
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It's a potential departure that Liverpool fans now feel is inevitable.
Kopites had been awaiting news on Sadio Mane's future with bated breath.
Mane was the signing that kick-started the Reds' return to the pinnacle of European football under Jurgen Klopp.
Arriving from Southampton for £34 million in the summer of 2016, he's played a pivotal role in Liverpool gleaning the Champions League, Premier League, European Super Cup, Club World Cup, FA Cup and Carabao Cup.
In terms of modern-day greats, Mane, 30, is up there with Mo Salah, Virgil van Dijk and the rest. His name is etched into Anfield folklore.
But all good things, at some stage, have to come to an end - although fans will feel the Senegal international's exit is premature.
Mane, who has a year left on his contract, has been heavily linked with a switch to Bayern Munich this summer.
Sky Germany reported earlier this month that Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic and manager Julian Nagelsmann want a 'statement signing' that will soften the blow of Robert Lewandowski's expected exit.
The Bundesliga giants know all about Mane's prowess. He bagged a double in Liverpool's 3-1 victory at the Allianz Arena on the road to Champions League glory three years ago.
Nagelsmann has also been tormented by Mane's ability when he was in charge of RB Leipzig.
Last season, the Reds faced Leipzig in the first knockout stage of Europe's elite club competition.
They eased to a 4-0 aggregate victory, with Mane and Mo Salah on target in both legs.
After the defeat, Nagelsmann lavished praise on the ‘really unique’ pair.
He said: “Liverpool were the better team today and deserved to get through.
“We didn’t do enough to score the goals we needed. Especially in the early stages, it took us a long time to get used to the game because they put less pressure on today.
“Their two goals showed the great individual quality.
“What Salah and Mané do is really unique. You could tell we had too much respect for their counter for long stretches. We have to accept that. We will let it sink in and reflect for a few hours.”
What Klopp has said on Bayern rumours
Before the Champions League final, Klopp insisted he couldn't care less about the rumours that were being bandied about.
The Liverpool boss said: “Sadio is in the shape of his life, in brilliant shape and joy to watch him in training and in the game.
We ask of him a lot, football asks a lot of him this year – an incredibly long season.
“A lot of finals and for sure one of the most successful so far for him, and for us.
“The Bayern Munich rumours I couldn’t care less [about] in the moment, we are all fully focused on this game and Sadio is completely focused on this game.
“He knows exactly how important it is to him, to us and so no concerns, completely normal.
“It’s not the first time in my career that before decisive games in my career Bayern Munich rumours come up, I don’t know exactly what I did for that to happen but no problem at all.
“This is the wrong moment to speak about that.
“Wherever Sadio will play next season, he will be a big player, definitely.”