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‘Mane to Real Madrid remains a possibility’ – Liverpool legend doubts summer deal but notes appeal

09:11 GMT 03/01/2020
Sadio Mane Real Madrid GFX
Steve Nicol cannot see the Senegalese forward swapping England for Spain any time soon, but admits that a future agreement could be put in place

Sadio Mane will not be leaving Liverpool any time soon, says Steve Nicol, but a future switch to Real Madrid remains a possibility.

The Senegal international has seen his stock rise considerably over recent years.

A prolific spell at Anfield, which has delivered 74 goals in three-and-a-half years, has seen the 27-year-old take up a standing alongside the global elite.

Many have queried why Mane did not figure in the top three of the 2019 Ballon d’Or vote, while he is a leading contender to land the 2020 African Player of the Year award.

Liverpool intend to be the ones to benefit from his obvious ability for many seasons to come, but transfer speculation has started to surface.

La Liga giants Madrid are said to see Mane as a potential ‘Galactico’ and boast the spending power to concern any European rival.

Former Reds star Nicol admits there is obvious appeal when it comes to Real, with it up to Mane to determine in which direction he sees his career heading.

“When it comes to Real Madrid, anything's possible,” the Scot, who spent 13 years with Liverpool in his playing days, told ESPN FC.

“Players when they're linked with Real Madrid, their eyes light up.

“The question is - what's this guy all about?

“If he's thinking about his career on the field of play, he's staying with Liverpool because Liverpool will win the Premier League title this year and could do for some years to come.

“They're certainly going to be challenging in the Champions League.

“If that's what he's all about then he stays, but if it's the whole 'Real Madrid thing' then it's possible.

“If they, as they normally do when they want something, come up with the money, I don't think this is beyond the realm of possibility.

“It's not happening in the summer but after that I wouldn't count it out.”

Mane is tied to terms with Liverpool through to the summer of 2023.

A contract extension at Anfield has been mooted for the highly-rated forward, but no agreement has been reached as yet.

For now, a man with another 15 goals to his name this season is focused on helping the Reds to a first English top-flight title in 30 years – with his second-half effort in a 2-0 win over Sheffield United on Thursday seeing Jurgen Klopp’s side restore a 13-point advantage at the summit.