Liverpool transfer round-up: Jurgen Klopp looking close to home for Sadio Mane replacement

Liverpool supporters had hardly got over losing the Champions League final to Real Madrid before they were delivered another hammer blow.

Just days after defeat in Paris, Sadio Mane made it clear that he wanted to end his stint at Anfield after a glittering six-years at Anfield. The Senegalese international has teased that a decision could come soon, but the noises coming from Mane’s camp don’t bode well for Reds fans.

Mane is out of contract next summer, as is Mohamed Salah, with speculation swirling over both of their immediate futures. It’s an unhelpful backdrop to a pivotal window for Jurgen Klopp, who knows he will need to be proactive if they are to close the gap on Manchester City in the Premier League.

But before fresh faces arrive on Merseyside, it is likely Mane’s status will need to be clarified. Mirror Football takes a look at the latest Liverpool transfer news and gossip – and there’s only one place to start…

Sadio Mane latest

The 30-year-old has moved to clarify comments he made about his imminent Liverpool future, after suggesting he will side with the Senegal people, with a poll revealing the majority would like him to leave.

But speaking after Senegal’s win over Benin he said: “I spoke yesterday while joking with a bit of humour and it was everywhere. I think we’ll stop there. Liverpool is a club I respect a lot. The fans have adopted me since day one. Regarding the future, we’ll see.”

Sadio Mane insisted that his comments last week were a joke

Sadio Mane insisted that his comments last week were a joke
Canal Plus YouTube)

Meanwhile, Bayern Munich president Herbert Hainer has confidently claimed that the German champions can sign whoever they want in the upcoming window. Bayern are believed to be the front runners for Mane’s signature and while he didn’t confirm interest, he did suggest that if they do make a move, he will be on his way to the Allianz. If we really want a player, we are able to get him, but he has to suit us.”

Mane replacement identified

Mirror Football understands that Leeds United winger Raphinha is on Klopp’s shortlist to replace Mane, should the forward leave before the start of next season. The Reds boss is a big fan of the speedy 25-year-old attacker who scored 11 Premier League goals and grabbed three assists despite a poor season for Leeds who only just beat the drop on the final day of the season.

Raphinha is on Barcelona’s wanted list but the Spanish giants are still deep in debt and must sell before they can buy this summer. And Liverpool could use Takumi Minamino as a potential makeweight in the deal, with Jesse Marsch said to be keen on the Japanese international.

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 05: Christian Pulisic of Chelsea is tackled by Raphinha of Leeds United during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Leeds United at Stamford Bridge on December 05, 2020 in London, England. A limited number of fans are welcomed back to stadiums to watch elite football across England. This was following easing of restrictions on spectators in tiers one and two areas only. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Premier League duo Christian Pulisic and Raphinha have been touted as potential Mane replacements

Christian Pulisic targeted

And Raphinha isn’t the only Premier League player believed to be on the agenda, with Bild claiming that Chelsea winger Pulisic could be in Klopp’s sights. It was widely reported that Liverpool attempted to sign the American international before he went to Stamford Bridge and Klopp could yet reignite that interest with Pulisic himself looking for a move.

The 23-year-old struggled for regular minutes under Thomas Tuchel and has hinted that he would be open to move. “”Of course, I want to get more playing time. I want to be on the field as much as I can and be the sharpest I can be and fit as well.”

Klopp worked with Pulisic at Borussia Dortmund and previously said he would always be welcome to join him at Liverpool.

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