By Melissa Reddy:goal.com
The attacker is on the brink of becoming the fourth acquisition under Jurgen Klopp’s charge at Anfield as formalities commence over a bumper move
Sadio Mane will be in Liverpool on Monday to undergo a medical ahead of becoming the club’s third-most expensive signing in a £30 million switch from Southampton.
The Saints have accepted the offer for the 24-year-old following lengthy negotiations, allowing the Anfield side to push on with a deal and enter discussions with the player.
Should the formalities go according to plan, Mane will officially be announced as the fourth recruit under Jurgen Klopp’s tutelage by midweek, with Tuesday being the earliest confirmation date.
Marko Grujic, Joel Matip and Loris Karius have already been acquired ahead of the German’s first full season in charge on Merseyside, while only Andy Carroll (£35m) and Christian Benteke (£32.5) have cost more than the Senegal international in the club’s history.
Mane, who scored 15 goals in all competitions last season – four of those against the Reds – recording nine assists, is expected to add much-needed pace and dynamism to Liverpool’s attack.
Klopp has been an admirer of his attributes since the forward’s two-year spell at Red Bull Salzburg, before his transfer to the south coast in 2014. Mane’s versatility and dribbling strength, in particular, have been appealing to the 49-year-old.
A product of the Generation Foot academy in Dakar, which also helped develop Newcastle’s Papiss Cisse and West Ham’s Diafra Sakho, the speedster was pursued by Manchester United last summer and in the January window, with Southampton rebuffing their attempts to lure him.
Mane will become the fifth player to to swap St Mary’s for Anfield in the past three seasons for a combined cost of £92m, following Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana, Dejan Lovren and Nathaniel Clyne.
Southampton have already acquired winger Nathan Redmond from Norwich City on a five-year deal for £11m to counter the departure of the attacker.
Meanwhile, Liverpool hope a compromise can be reached with Leicester over Ben Chilwell. The Premier League champions want £10m for the 19-year-old and have rejected an offer totalling £7m for the left-back. Liverpool will focus their attentions on alternatives should an agreement not be forthcoming.
The Reds will also attempt to conclude a deal for Piotr Zielinski once Poland’s participation in the Euros is over.
The Merseysiders have offered Udinese £11m inclusive of extras as well as a sell-on clause for the midfielder, but the Serie A club are holding out for £15m.