The blockbuster deal that Liverpool have lined up to sign Darwin Nunez should give Mohamed Salah food for thought as the Reds’ talisman continues to ponder his future
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With just 12 months remaining on his deal, Mane – one of the Reds most important players – made it clear that he was eager to seek a move elsewhere after the Anfield hierarchy were unable to come to terms on a bumper new deal to extend his stay on Merseyside.
But rather than sulking at the prospect of losing one of Jurgen Klopp’s most trusted lieutenants, Liverpool have instead pinched one of Europe’s most coveted strikers to fill the void Mane will leave once his protracted switch to Bayern Munich is concluded.
The Reds have smashed their transfer record to do so, with add-ons in the blockbuster deal for Nunez expected to nudge the total package for the Uruguayan hotshot to around £85million; a truly gargantuan fee. But Liverpool are willing to break the bank for Nunez as his wage demands will reportedly fit into their existing pay structure – something that should give Mohamed Salah food for thought.
Like Mane, the Egyptian wizard is also now inside the final year of his current deal with the Reds. The 29-year-old has insisted that he will not leave Anfield this summer, but progress over another deal has stalled due to his huge salary demands, which reportedly stand at around £400,000-a-week.
Salah may be the jewel in Liverpool’s crown, but the former Chelsea man should be under no illusions that the Reds won’t be held to ransom – Mane is the perfect example of that. Salah’s partner in crime adopted a similar stance and is now leaving the club; something that seemed unthinkable even as recently as 12 months ago.
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And while Reds icon Jamie Carragher has admitted that Mane’s exit is “sad”, he stressed that the club have needed to “refresh their front line”. He told Sky Sports: “Liverpool under Jurgen Klopp normally get their recruitment right certainly when they spend big. The figures we’re talking – that’s what they spent on the goalkeeper and Van Dijk and they made a huge difference.
“Liverpool right now do need to refresh their front line because of the age of that front three who have been absolutely fantastic over the last four or five years for Liverpool.
“It is sad to see it broken up in some ways but it had to come to an end sooner or later and with Sadio Mane looking like he’s going to move on, Liverpool had to do something and he’s the one they’ve identified.”
The fact that Liverpool have been able to source a top-quality replacement for Mane shouldn’t be lost on Salah – if he is under the illusion that he can hold the Reds to ransom because he’s irreplaceable at Anfield, then he may need to think again.