Liverpool striker Sadio Mane has committed his future to Anfield and is on the verge of signing a new deal.
A verbal agreement has been reached keeping Mane at the Merseyside club until at least 2023, with only the formalities of putting pen to paper to complete.
The Senegal striker is the last of the club’s famed attacking trio to pledge the peak years of his career to Jurgen Klopp’s side. It represents another important and shrewd piece of business by Liverpool as they retain the core of Klopp’s developing side.
Both Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino penned five year deals during the summer and owners Fenway Sports Group have been in an ongoing dialogue with Mane’s representatives since the end of last season.
Those talks progressed longer than anticipated but have yielded the result Klopp hoped for. Mane’s salary will significantly increase to reflect his increased value to the club.
Firmino was rewarded with a £180,000 a week contract and Salah also received a spectacular wage increase. Mane’s deal is sure to take him into the same ballpark.
“I am very happy, very happy to extend my time at Liverpool,” Mane told the club’s website.
“It is a great day for me and now I am looking forward to helping the team to win trophies.
“I’ve always said, when I knew I had a chance to come here I didn’t have to think twice. The right club in the right moment and with the right coach as well. I came here and was very happy.
“For me, I have made the best decision in my career.”
Having delivered so many thrilling performances since his £34 million move from Southampton in 2016 – Mane was Liverpool’s player of the year in his first season – it is just reward for the 26-year-old.
Although he was eclipsed by Salah’s goalscoring exploits last season, Mane increased his goal and assist rate in his second year. He already has seven goals in this campaign, despite a broad consensus Liverpool’s front three have not yet found their best form in helping their side to second in the Premier League.
Symbolically, Mane’s decision to sign the deal is important to Liverpool. When Philippe Coutinho was sold last January, Fenway Sports Group determined to ensure their other prized asset would not follow the Brazilian to Spain or elsewhere.
They have invested heavily, not only in new signings such as Virgil Van Dijk and Alisson, but in contract extensions. The bulk of the current squad is either entering their peak years or still in their early 20s.
The clause in the Coutinho contract – demanding an £89 million premium (100 euros) should Barcelona target any other Liverpool players before 2020 – was especially clever. Mane was thought to be another of those the La Liga side was watching closely.
Mane is unlikely to be the last significant contract extension given the form and importance of so many members of Klopp’s side.
Given the increased salary – and huge market value – of Mane, Firmino and Salah, allied to the fact at least one of Europe’s biggest clubs has been priced out of bidding for another two years, Liverpool supporters can anticipate seeing the trio combining for the foreseeable future.
Klopp remains confident of maintaining a title bid this season, but retaining his star trio should ensure this year’s challenge is the first in a series.