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Mane: The focus is on football and not my contract

Sadie Mane has no plans to let any off-field distractions get in the way of playing good football for the Reds this season.

 

The Senegalese forward has had a hot and cold start to his 2018/9 campaign, scoring four goals from as many league games to start the season, before going seven games without putting the ball in the back of the net in all competitions.

 

After missing the game against Huddersfield with a hand injury sustained on international duty, Mane has scored three goals in his last three games.

 

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Contract negotiations are clearly a necessary part of Football and depending on the individual concerned and his agent, can be conducted in a professional fashion or become a dragged out affair which causes a great deal of friction for all parties.

 

For his part, Mane is looking to have a clear mindset as the Reds look to maintain their strong start in the league and Europe.

 

The Mirror (via the Echo) reported Mane as saying:

 

"I am more focused on the games, things like contracts I leave with my agent.

 

"I am happy and concentrating on giving my best for my team-mates, my manager and the fans."

 

The 26-year-old's current deal runs out in 2021 so there isn't any immediate concern in terms of the timeframe.

 

However clubs normally like to lock away their stars well in advance as the Reds have done with Mo Salah and Roberto Firmino in the past few months.

 

In Mane's case, negotiations between the parties began at the end of last season which is why questions have been raised about the delay. 

 

What is certain is that adding the signature of the star forward in the near future will complete another fine piece of work by the club's negotiating team.


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I think Mane is at the best club he can possibly be for somebody of his talent. A move to a Barca or Real type team would be bad for him professionally but obviously great financially. At the moment his pace gets him out of trouble but his decision making is often erratic. Spain have much better defenders than the PL does and he'd just be a bench filler. Also its fair to say that with African players from poorer countries there are lots of outside pressures that aren't as prevalent with most other nationalities. African players are renown for their generosity in supporting family,friends and whole communities back home and this might cause some hiccups with contracts as well as the usual keeping them at a similar level to their colleagues.

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He’s lucky most people’s focus is on how Mo and Bobby have been, when Mane has been worse. The Mo and Bobby threads regularly bumped discussing their performances but I don’t see Mane’s performances getting magnified in the same way theirs do. He’s been awful so far, bar the 1st  2 or 3 games, and is frustrating the fuck out of me far more than anyone else. 

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I think he has been the best of the front three overall this season.

 

His rather odd gait makes him occasionally look clumsy & he can be profligate i possession, but I feel he has been our most potent threat & he also covers Robbo far better than Salah does his full back on the other side.

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1 hour ago, sir roger said:

I think he has been the best of the front three overall this season.

 

His rather odd gait makes him occasionally look clumsy & he can be profligate i possession, but I feel he has been our most potent threat & he also covers Robbo far better than Salah does his full back on the other side.

 Opinions and all that, but Salah has been much better and contributes so much more to the team. It’s only because he set such a high standard last season that people are being so quick to criticise this season. Mane has been reall poor imo, gets caught in possession so much, dwells on the ball when there’s other options on, his passing has been really sloppy, hits the ground and plays for a free kick too much, when he could stay on his feet, taking the momentum out of our counters. Hes been very lackadaisical this season. 

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Liverpool forward Sadio Mane had to be helped off the pitch in tears after being booed by his own Senegal fans.

 

Mane was representing his country in their 1-0 African Cup of Nations qualifier victory against Equatorial Guinea, bu the Senegal fans were angry with the Reds star after he spurned a glorious chance to double his side’s lead.

 

He was booed for the rest of the game, and when the final whistle was blown he slumped to the ground inconsolable.

 

Local news reported that part of the reason for Mane’s tears were that he is well behind Liverpool team-mate Salah in the race for the African Nations Golden Ball.

 

Salah has scored four goals in three games in the tournament, while Mane is yet to get off the mark.

 

Meanwhile, Mane’s brother hit out at Senegal fans for not supporting the attacker like the Egyptian fans do for Salah.

 

In an Instagram post, translated, he wrote: “It is rare to see a country dislike a star of his country like you do.

 

“All of Egypt back Salah whether or not he is playing well for the national team.

 

“Thousands of Egypt fans will support Salah, while Senegal fans will never support Kalidou Koulibaly or Sadio Mane, who is competing with Salah for the Golden Ball.

 

“He will continue to fight for you, continue to sacrifice himself and continue to give the maximum for Senegal and love and respect the national flag.

 

“One day you will realise, but it might be too late.”

 

He then added that his brother cried because “he wanted so much more”.

 

“Thousands of Egypt fans will support Salah, while Senegal fans will never support Kalidou Koulibaly or Sadio Mane, who is competing with Salah for the Golden Ball.

 

“He will continue to fight for you, continue to sacrifice himself and continue to give the maximum for Senegal and love and respect the national flag.

 

“One day you will realise, but it might be too late.”

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He's been poor recently, but I think this outburst shows the pressure our forwards are under this season.  They over-performed last year, possibly even beyond their own belief at times.  Now they want to prove it was class, not form and they're (him in particular) forcing it, leading to the opposite impression.  I hope "competing with Salah for the Golden Ball" isn't an insight into his mindset though.

 

Hate seeing it, I love Sadio.  The mad celebrations, the joy watching him bundle through defences and slamming the ball home.  The guy needs support more than questions, although he probably need someone else capable of stepping into the attack and taking a bit of the weight as well. 

 

We really need another first team attacker in January.

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14 minutes ago, Elite said:

He's been dire lately.

First half of the season (so far) he was good and firing. But since then... not good at all. That said, he’s not the only one is he. 

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The pressure he faces when playing for Senegal is huge. I was listening to an interview with the Senegalese media last year and the number one thing they ask him is: "Why can't you be as good with Senegal as you are with Liverpool"? 

 

They love him but don't think he's played up to expectations with the national team. And the missed penalty in the AFCON and disappointing World Cup campaign has probably made things worse. 

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Very sad to see that. Something is not right with him and hasn't been for some time. Stalling on the contract for this long though probably means he will be off this summer after Emre went for a free. 

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7 minutes ago, Mr pink said:

Very sad to see that. Something is not right with him and hasn't been for some time. Stalling on the contract for this long though probably means he will be off this summer after Emre went for a free. 

 

Maybe he could sign for a team in the Senegalese league. 

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1 hour ago, Mr pink said:

Very sad to see that. Something is not right with him and hasn't been for some time. Stalling on the contract for this long though probably means he will be off this summer after Emre went for a free. 

 

He's halfway through his existing contract, having joined us in summer 2016. That contract no longer reflects his value to the team or his standing as one of the best wide forwards in the world, but it isn't whittling down in 6 months time so the urgency isn't yet there from either party to tie him down. I've no doubt that both sides want a new deal.

 

As for why he doesn't play for Senegal the way he does for us, there are two reasons for that. Firstly, there's a lot more pressure on him to perform for Senegal as he is regarded as their main man (Main Man Mane?) whereas for Liverpool, he is an important cog in our attacking machine. Secondly, Senegal don't play anything like the sort of football we do. Based on what I saw at the World Cup, they aren't as focussed on physicality and athleticism as most African sides, but neither are they adapted to playing with a high defensive line and an emphasis on winning the ball higher up the pitch.

 

Playing for Senegal is important to him (just as representing Egypt is a huge motivation for Salah), and he seems the sort to take criticism to heart.

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There aren’t many wingers in the world who could do what Mane does for us.  Even when he’s not firing on all cylinders he’s still a nightmare for defenders because he works his arse off.

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