Liverpool denied Sadio Mane reunion as Cristiano Ronaldo gets new partner in crime

Liverpool denied Sadio Mane reunion as Cristiano Ronaldo gets new partner in crime

Liverpool’s hopes of an emotional reunion with Sadio Mane in Singapore will be dashed due to a slight timing mismatch. 

The team is set to face Bayern Munich in a pre-season friendly at the Singapore National Stadium, which can hold 52,000 spectators, on Wednesday (August 2). 

However, Mane will have already departed from the German club before that match takes place.

Just a year ago, Sadio Mane bid farewell to Liverpool and joined the Bundesliga giants for a transfer fee of £27 million, which could rise to £35 million based on performance. 

Despite scoring an impressive 23 goals in his final Premier League season before the move, the 31-year-old struggled to replicate the same level of success at Bayern Munich. In his 38 appearances for the German club, he managed 12 goals and six assists.

The transition to playing under either Julian Nagelsmann or Thomas Tuchel was challenging for the Senegalese attacker. 

Moreover, he had an altercation with Leroy Sane following a Champions League defeat against Manchester City. Now, Mane’s time at Bayern is coming to an end, as he is about to embark on a new journey in Saudi Arabia.

According to transfer expert Fabrizio Romano’s report on Friday, Mane was already in advanced negotiations with Al Nassr, the club where Cristiano Ronaldo is currently playing. 

The deal was reported to be close to completion, with formalities expected to be finalized within the next few days. It is now understood that an agreement has been reached, and Mane will undergo a medical examination shortly before making the move.

Due to his imminent move to Al Nassr in the Middle East, Mane will unfortunately miss the chance to join his former Liverpool teammates on their trip to Singapore in the Far East. 

Despite his previous declaration of being Liverpool’s biggest fan after leaving the club last summer, Mane expressed a strong desire to meet Jurgen Klopp and the squad once again. 

However, Al Nassr was eager to finalize the transfer quickly, so he had to prioritize the move.

The urgency in concluding the deal stems from the fact that the new Saudi Pro League season commences on August 14. Notably, Al Ettifaq, led by Steven Gerrard and with newly-acquired Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson, will be their first opponents. 

This means that Mane will at least have the opportunity to reunite with the two former Liverpool captains during that match.

Al Nassr is expected to pay approximately £34 million to acquire Mane, who will receive an equally handsome contract worth the same amount per season from the Riyadh-based club. In contrast, Ronaldo’s yearly earnings at the club are estimated at a staggering £171 million. This summer, Al Nassr has been active in the transfer market, securing signings such as Seko Fofana from Lens, Alex Telles from Manchester United, and Marcelo Brozovic from Inter Milan.

Mane will become Ronaldo’s new attacking partner at Al Nassr, as the team aims to rectify their performance from the 2022-23 season. During that season, they narrowly missed out on the league title, finishing five points behind their Saudi Pro League rivals, Al-Ittihad.

However, Al-Ittihad has been making significant moves in the transfer window as well, bringing in players of high caliber such as Karim Benzema, N’Golo Kante, and Jota. They are also set to unveil Liverpool midfielder Fabinho as their latest marquee signing. This means Mane will encounter another familiar face from his Liverpool days in Saudi Arabia.

With Mane and Ronaldo teaming up at Al-Awwal Park, they will strive to surpass not only Al-Ittihad but also their other main Public Investment Fund (PIF)-owned rivals, Al-Hilal and Al-Ahli, as they compete for the top spot in the league.

Liverpool denied Sadio Mane reunion as Cristiano Ronaldo gets new partner in crime

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