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No chance of Mane or Salah going to Real Madrid or Barcelona, claims ex-Liverpool star McManaman

13:24 GMT 20/03/2020
Mohamed Salah Sadio Mane Liverpool 2019
The former Reds winger says transfer talk needs to be taken “with a pinch of salt”, with those at Anfield not about to part with prized assets

Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah continue to spark talk of interest from Real Madrid and Barcelona, but former Liverpool star Steve McManaman considers there to be no chance of sales being sanctioned.

Speculation is building again when it comes to possible big-money movement during a coronavirus-enforced break from competitive action.

Rumours regarding Mane and Salah had started to rage some time before that, with there suggestions that either could see their head turned if formal approaches were made from Spain.

Both have achieved plenty at Anfield, becoming prolific and talismanic figures under Jurgen Klopp, and the opportunity to take on a new challenge elsewhere could hold obvious appeal.

McManaman, though, cannot see Liverpool agreeing to part with any prized assets and is confident that no substance to unwanted gossip will be found.

The ex-Reds winger told HorseRacing.net: “Well Real Madrid already have Eden Hazard, they bought Rodrygo last summer and they’ve just invested in Reinier in January, so I’d take rumours like that with a pinch of salt. 

“Regardless of how the Champions League turns out this season, the best teams in the world at present are the English teams. Real Madrid and Barcelona are not!

“They both want to start again and bring in a few new players because they’ve both had disappointing seasons this year, so they’re going to start turning their squads over.

“Despite this, I don’t think there’s any chance of either Sadio Mane or Mohamed Salah going to either Real Madrid or Barcelona.”

While there has been talk of top talent leaving the Premier League for La Liga, possible movement in the opposite direction has also been mooted.

Brazil international defender Eder Militao has endured a forgettable season at Santiago Bernabeu on the back of a 2019 switch from Porto, and Tottenham are now said to be mulling over a move.

McManaman can see why Real may consider offloading the South American, but also feels that he is deserving of more opportunities with the Blancos.

The former Madrid star added on Eder: “His debut season in Madrid has been virtually nothing hasn’t it?

“I was really impressed with him last season for Porto and I thought he was an excellent central defender.

“Porto and the Portuguese league is different to playing in Spain with Real Madrid, but when I saw his performances in the Champions League, to me it made sense that Real Madrid had bought him.

“The thing that’s hampered Militao at Madrid is that when Zinedine Zidane went back to the Bernabeu he returned to his trusted back four who he thinks he can rely on.

“For the likes of Eder Militao and Ferland Mendy who joined Real Madrid in the summer, they’ve found becoming a permanent fixture in the starting XI difficult.

“I think Militao was an excellent central defender at Porto and I think that’s the best time to judge him. I think the change of manager at Real Madrid has probably hindered him if I’m being honest, like it’s hindered a lot of their new signings.”