Pundit Noel Whelan has sent out a warning to Liverpool ahead of their upcoming “make or break” contract negotiations with Sadio Mane.
The Lowdown: Worth the investment?
The 30-year-old will be out of contract at Anfield at the end of next season and it has been recently revealed that the Reds do plan on offering the Senegalese a new deal, but not one that would effectively break the bank.
The former Leeds striker has admitted that whilst he thinks Mane is a “phenomenal” player, he claims that by throwing a huge mega-money deal at the £72m-rated star, it would prevent the Merseyside outfit from being able to buy players like Jude Bellingham in future transfer windows.
The Latest: Whelan’s comments
Speaking to Football Insider, the Whites’ club ambassador said:
“These contract negotiations could make or break their transfer windows for years to come.
“Throwing all your money at one player is a really bad idea. Yes, he’s a phenomenal player – but you can’t be held to ransom.
“You’ve got to strengthen in other positions as well, even if players like Mane, Salah, and Firmino are vital to the structure at Liverpool.
“You can’t be throwing £500,000-a-week at one player. No matter how good he is.
“That kind of money could go towards a Jude Bellingham. That midfield is coming to a certain age now, and it will need investment.”
The Verdict: Vision for the future
The 86-time international has undoubtedly been one of Liverpool’s best players under Jurgen Klopp in recent years, where he has made an outstanding 162 goal contributions in just 260 outings for the club.
However, as important as it is for him to remain at Anfield, it’s equally as vital that the hierarchy can afford to purchase talented prospects who have the potential to become suitable long-term successors.
The Reds have expressed an interest in the Dortmund star in recent months, but probably wouldn’t even be able to consider a move for him if all of the money was being geared towards maintaining some of their greatest assets.
Even if Mane was thinking about looking elsewhere should his wage demands not be met, there aren’t many other teams out there right now in Liverpool’s position.
With the chance of having four trophies to their name at the end of the season still very much a possibility, the £200k-per-week forward might just reconsider his options and realise just how much of a successful place he’s in, recognising the fact that should he stay, it would most likely take him to the end of his playing career.
In other news, a Liverpool transfer target has dropped a huge hint on his future. Read more here.