Sadio Mané’s move to Bayern Munich became official over the last few days. It had long been thought that Mané would make the switch to the German giants, with rumblings starting even prior to the Champions League defeat to Real Madrid.
Mané eventually left for a fee that could hit the £35m mark, with at least £28m guaranteed to Liverpool. The club should a just about break even on the man signed from Southampton way back in 2016.
Many think that Liverpool did extraordinarily well out of the Mané deal, considering that he had one year left on his contract and that he is now in his 30s.
However, attitudes have changed somewhat following word from the Manchester City camp. It seems they are about to let Gabriel Jesus join Arsenal for around £45m. He, like Mané, only has a year left on his contract.
So with that in mind, did Liverpool get a fair deal with Mané, or should they have got more for him?
One has to keep in mind that Man City are dealing with Arsenal, a fellow English side, in the Jesus deal, and that English teams always tend to get charged more for talent, even when negotiating with English teams. The Premier League sides have more money than any of the biggest clubs in Europe at this stage, and everyone knows as much, so it’s hardly a surprise that Arsenal are being tasked with providing more money for Jesus than Bayern were for Mané. That’s the cost of dealing with teams within one league.
Had Manchester City — or Arsenal, for that matter — come calling for Mané, Liverpool likely would have quoted them around the same as City are demanding for Jesus. In fact, Liverpool actually relaxed their demands for Mané when dealing with Bayern, supposedly out of respect for him and his contributions to the club.
Mané reportedly wanted to leave Liverpool in the right way, and so the club accepted Bayern’s slightly lower bid than what they were originally asking for, in order to get the deal over the line.
Liverpool wouldn’t have been as generous if they’d been dealing with an English team.
Moreover, Mané is some five years older than Jesus, and therefore his value was always going to be less than the Brazilian’s, even though Mané is in the form of his life and playing at a far higher level than Jesus. In football, age is everything, and Liverpool were always in a losing battle to extract maximum value for him.
But Liverpool still did remarkably well from the Mané deal. Yes, it’s not the windfall Jesus is netting for Man City, but Mané cannot come back to haunt Liverpool in the Premier League. That’s a risk that Pep Guardiola must now shoulder.
So overall, Liverpool’s deal with Bayern for Mané was still a very good one.