Liverpool to press ahead with £30 million deal for Sadio Mane after promising talks with Southampton

Jürgen Klopp has identified Southampton forward Sadio Mane as one of his key targets for the summer as Liverpool look to step up their interest for the 24-year-old, moving closer to a £30 million deal.

Liverpool to press ahead with £30 million deal for Sadio Mane after promising talks with Southampton
(Picture: Getty Images)

Liverpool are growing increasingly hopeful of sealing a deal in the region of £30 million for Southampton's Sadio Mane after holding positive talks with the South Coast club.

The 24-year-old, who scored 15 times and registered nine assists in all competitions last season, has been identified as the ideal target to transform the Reds attack.

The two clubs have been in talks for the last month and Liverpool believe that discussions have been progressive, to the point that they are confident of wrapping up a deal reportedly worth £25 million up-front and a further £5 million in add-ons.

The Saints have already lost manager Ronald Koeman to Everton and midfielder Victor Wanyama to Tottenham Hotspur this summer, having been forced to become accustomed to losing key players - and members of staff - in recent summers.

It had been suggested that they would demand upwards of £40 million for the Senegalese international, but they have suggested a willingness to do business at around £30 million for Mane.

But Liverpool fear that negotiations could be drawn out as they seek to tie up a deal before pre-season training begins on July 2, six days before their first friendly.

Plus, with Southampton currently managerless, keeping Mane is their main objective - meaning it could be difficult for Liverpool to prise away their star asset.

Jürgen Klopp first noticed the player after a two-year spell at Red Bull Salzburg, whose then sporting director Ralf Rangnick is a close friend of the German's.

Mane then left a lasting impression after scoring twice to inspire a 3-2 win for Southampton against Liverpool at St Mary's on March 20, overturning a 2-0 deficit at the break.

Mane established as Reds main attacking target 

Mane up against former Southampton defender Clyne back in March. (Picture: Getty Images)
Mane up against former Southampton defender Clyne back in March. (Picture: Getty Images)

Mane scored four goals in three games against Liverpool last season, his pace and trickery causing the Merseyside outfit's defence immense problems.

His qualities, and versatility, have made him Klopp's first-choice forward target with Mario Gotze increasingly likely to stay put at Bayern Munich despite the possibility of a reunion with the manager.

Mane would become the Reds' third-most expensive signing, behind Christian Benteke at £32.5 million and £35 million Andy Carroll, a marked increase on the £11.8 million he cost Southampton in September 2014.

The two clubs are already familiar with each other, Liverpool having signed Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana, Dejan Lovren and Nathaniel Clyne all from the Saints in the last two summer windows, the latter three of which are still at the club.

Mane, who has scored 25 goals in 75 appearances in two seasons in the Premier League, put himself into the history books with the fastest top-flight hat-trick of all time - scoring three inside two minutes and 56 seconds against Aston Villa in May 2015.

The Reds are also pushing ahead on moves for midfielders Piotr Zielinski and Mahmoud Dahoud, but a deal for the former is much more likely even though it may have to wait until after Euro 2016.

Left-back Ben Chilwell is also a target, but any potential transfer could be scuppered by Leicester City's £10 million valuation of the 19-year-old who has yet to make his league debut.

Otherwise, Joe Allen is reportedly subject to interest from Southampton and Leicester as the Welsh midfielder nears the Anfield exit.

With just one year remaining on his contract, the Reds have rejected an £8 million bid from Allen's former club Swansea City, who are also interested.

It is thought that they are looking for at least £10 million for the 26-year-old, who is looking for more regular minutes than on offer under Klopp at Liverpool.