United, Newcastle lead race for Sadio Mane

Manchester United and Newcastle United are reportedly leading the race to bring Bayern Munich attack­er, Sadio Mane, back to the Premier League during this summer’s trans­fer window.

The 31-year-old’s form for Southampton between 2014 and 2016 led to Liverpool signing him, and the attacker starred at Anfield, making 269 appearances, scoring 120 goals and registering 48 assists.

Mane won the Premier League, FA Cup, EFL Cup and Champions League during his time with Jurgen Klopp’s side, but he surprisingly left last summer to join Bayern.

The Senegal international has found it difficult to show his best form for the German champions despite managing a respectable 12 goals and six assists in 37 appear­ances in all competitions.

German journalist, Florian Plettenberg, has claimed that Mane is set to leave Bayern during this summer’s transfer window due to his strained relationship with the club.

The forward allegedly punched his Bayern teammate, Leroy Sane, following his team’s Champions League quarter-final first-leg clash with Manchester City, which led to him being suspended and handed a huge fine.

Der FCB head coach, Thomas Tuchel, is reportedly not counting on Mane for next season, mean­while, with all of the signs pointing to a transfer ahead of the 2023-24 campaign.

Chelsea have been heavily linked with the forward, but the London club’s absence from next season’s Champions League could cost them the chance to sign him.

According to Sky Deutschland, Man. United and Newcastle are currently leading candidates for Mane’s signature, with the pair sitting fourth and third respectively in the Premier League table.

Neither is guaranteed Champions League football for next season at this stage, though, with Liverpool in fifth position now strongly push­ing for a top-four spot.

Man. United are expected to sign at least one forward during this summer’s transfer window, with the Red Devils currently being linked with the likes of Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane and Napoli’s Victor Osimhen.

Newcastle, meanwhile, will again be active this summer, and a top-four position could allow the Magpies to compete for some of the biggest names in the sport.

Mane has a record of 111 goals and 47 assists in 263 appearances in the Premier League, having also starred for Southampton ahead of a switch to Anfield.

The experienced forward has only started 18 Bundesliga match­es this season, while he was a late substitute in his team’s 6-0 victory over Schalke 04 last time out. —Reuters

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