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Bayern Munich delegation fly to England to complete Mane transfer

Mane has decided to leave Liverpool this summer amid Bayern Munich interest

Bayern Munich have sent a delegation to England to thrash out a deal for Sadio Mane.

And that will finally pave the way for the Senegal star to get his wish and leave Liverpool to join the German giants.

We understand that Hasan Salihamidžić, Bayern’s Sporting Director, leads the team which arrives in the north west this morning, and will enter talks with his counterpart at Anfield Julian Ward.

Mane made clear after the Champions League final he wanted to leave the Reds, after discussions over a new contract broke down, as the club insisted they would not break their wage structure.

Bayern pursued the player towards the end of the campaign, and made two formal bids for Mane – who has a year remaining on his Liverpool contract – with both rejected out of hand.

Liverpool even went as far as to pour scorn on the second bid, which, they revealed, contained clauses which were essentially unachievable – including payments if the player won a hat trick of Ballon d’Ors.

That offer essentially amounted to £25m, and the Anfield board made clear they would not come to the negotiating table unless Bayern were serious about meeting their valuation of around £42.5m.

Now, it is understood the German club are ready to enter into talks at that level – though so far, no formal third offer has been issued.

Salihamidžić will meet Liverpool’s sporting director Ward today, and hopes to find a way to structure a deal which will satisfy both clubs.

That will probably include bonuses based on achievable targets – not the ones Liverpool ridiculed – to get much closer to the English club’s valuation.

It has been widely reported in the German media that Salihamidžić has already held meetings with Mane’s agent Bjorn Bezemer, and agreed in principle a three year contract worth in the region of £360,000 a year.

Liverpool had baulked at that figure when it was suggested earlier in the season as tentative talks got underway, because it would not only break their wage structure, but smash it.

Virgil van Dijk is the club’s top earner, and is thought to be paid in the region of £220,000 a week, with Alisson on a similar figure.

With Mane past his 30th birthday, the club calculated he is not a long term investment, and they have allowed him to leave now, so they can get money back before he reaches the end of his contract.

In fact, if Bayern relent and give Liverpool what they want, then it will actually represent a profit for Liverpool on the £30m they paid Southampton for his services back in 2016.

While Mane will be a huge loss, Liverpool already replaced him on the left of a front three last season, with the exciting Luis Diaz, who has made a fine start to his Reds career.

And they have also now plugged the gap in the middle of that forward line – where Mane largely operated when Diaz arrived – by signing rising star Darwin Nunez for an initial fee of £65m, plus £20m in potential add-ons.

Interestingly, Nunez agreed a contract said to be worth around £140,000-150,000 a week, which is less than half Mane’s wage demands, and keeps the club’s financial structure intact.

Talks with Bayern are slated throughout today, and Salihamidžić is hoping to fly back to Munich this evening with an agreement to sign Mane.

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