Mohamed Salah and his contract have rightly dominated the discussion in recent weeks.
But there is another Liverpool forward who is heading towards the exit door in 2023 if the Reds don’t sort out a new deal. Sadio Mane is not a forward the Merseysiders can afford to lose, even if Luis Diaz has arrived and hit the ground running. The Senegal star racked up his ninth and 10th career goals against Manchester City last weekend to put the Reds into the FA Cup final.
Since the beginning of the 2017-18 season, nobody has scored more against Pep Guardiola’s side. He has 13 this season in the Premier League for the Reds while he has inspired his country to Africa Cup of Nations success and a World Cup spot before netting four goals in his last four games.
Klopp remained tight-lipped on Mane’s contract situation, admitting he slipped up when speaking about Salah’s, but he couldn’t help himself from hailing the former Southampton man ahead of Tuesday night's clash with Manchester United.
“The quality of Sadio we don’t really have to talk about, because it’s absolutely incredible,” said Klopp. “Obviously what happened in the last two months for him was a boost, that is clear, I’m sure you’ll find now a big election in Senegal, I am really happy for him.
“All the rest we will see. He is a talent as well. If you do the same training as Sadio or I do you will never look like him, it’s not possible. He is blessed, let me put it like this. He does a lot, absolutely, but he is a bit lucky as well.”
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At 30, he has shown little sign of slowing down. Klopp reckons he can play well into his 30s, but added: “If he wants to”. That leaves a little doubt about where his future may lie, but there seems no intention from Klopp that January signing Diaz is his future replacement or added competition.
“I have known Sadio since nearly six years, as far as I know he never needed any kind of competition to try to be the best version of himself,” added Klopp. “He played for a long time pretty much all games when he was fit and performed on an incredibly high level consistently. Bringing in Luis I am not sure it affected that part of his game, I don't know.
“That was not the reason for bringing in Luis and playing in the centre obviously suits Sadio very well as well. No, I don’t think Luis is the reason Sadio scored four goals, but somehow maybe because Luis obviously can keep a last line pretty busy that then opens up gaps for other players.”
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