Sadio Mane stunned reporters by revealing he will do whatever ‘the Senegalese people want’ when told that ’60 to 70 per cent’ of people in his native country want him to Anfield.
Mane has been heavily linked with a departure from Anfield this summer and Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich have been touted as his most likely destination.
The 30-year-old has tried to remain coy on what his future holds but speaking at a press conference while on international duty with Senegal on Friday, Mane gave the clearest indication yet that his days in a Liverpool shirt are numbered.
‘I respect the fans and team but 60 to 70 per cent of Senegalese want me to leave Liverpool? I’ll do what they want.’
Mane was prompted to discuss his future ahead of Senegal’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Benin on Saturday and his response will no doubt have set alarm bells off on Merseyside.
The bombshell quote arrives with just 12 months remaining on his contract at Anfield.
With a seeming desire to keep his fans in Senegal happy, his latest remark suggests that the forward will walk out of Anfield this summer.
Sportsmail reported recently that Mane is intrigued by a move to Bayern Munich and it is understood that the Bundesliga giants are indeed in pole position to get him.
Bayern Munich want to play Mane alongside Robert Lewandowski – provided he doesn’t leave for Barcelona having himself declared his days at his current club are numbered.
Bayern’s sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic is thought to have sent an offer worth around £17million per season to Mane, which has impressed the frontman.
Paris Saint-Germain are also keeping an eye on his situation, but Mane appreciates the border area of southern Germany and the set-up at Bayern.
Either club will have to pay around £42.5m for Mane’s services next season as Liverpool have attached a slightly higher price tag than the £35m initially touted.
Mane flourished in the second half of the season, having scored 13 of his 23 goals after winning the Africa Cup of Nations with Senegal at the start of the year.
He also took like a duck to water to his new role in the No 9 position, with Luis Diaz’s January arrival from Porto reshuffling the usual front three deployed by Klopp.
The Senegal star arrived at Anfield from Southampton in 2016 for £34m and has gone on to play a key role in the Reds’ success alongside Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino in recent seasons.
His first trophy came in 2019 with the Champions League and the Premier League title followed a season later.
He completed his English trophy set by winning the League Cup and FA Cup this year, while he was also part of the side which won the 2019 UEFA Super Cup and 2019 FIFA Club World Cup.
Mane started for Liverpool in their 1-0 Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid in what could be his final game for the Merseyside club.
In the run-up to that final boss Klopp was uninterested by talk of Mane’s future.
Speaking at his pre-final press conference, Klopp said: ‘Wherever Sadio will play next season he will be a big player, definitely.
‘Sadio is in the shape of his life, for sure. Brilliant shape, it is a joy to watch him.
‘We ask of him a lot this season, football asks of him a lot — lot of finals. I couldn’t care less in the moment.’