Sadio Mane has reiterated that he only has focus on his second successive Champions League Final despite being linked with yet another potential move to Real Madrid.
The Senegalese ace believes the transfer rumours are not a distraction because he is happy at Liverpool following another record-breaking season.
Mane has been regularly touted by the Spanish press with a lucrative move to the Spanish capital and Zinedine Zidane who is preparing for a much-needed squad overhaul following a disappointing campaign for the record European Cup winners.
Liverpool have not yet received nor would they entertain an approach for one of their most prized assets. Mane had yet another extraordinary campaign in his third season with the Reds helping the club achieve a record points tally of 97 as well as becoming a joint winner of the Premier League Golden Boot.
The 27-year-old showcased his determination to remain on Merseyside back in November 2018, when the former Southampton forward put pen-to-paper on a lucrative five-year deal that will keep him at the club until 2023.
Mane’s joy following his contract extension was epitomised by the relief on the player’s face as well as stating the decision as “the best in my career”.
All three of Liverpool’s trusted attacking trident are under long-term deals and with another Champions League final just days away, theres little chance of the Reds most prized possession being snagged away from hungry rivals.
Jurgen Klopp’s development of the squad since the German’s appointment in October 2015 has led Mane to develop a strong view that Liverpool is the best possible place to further his career.
Mané said: “This is always part of football so we have to deal with it but for me the most important thing is Liverpool and I’m happy here.
“I’m preparing for one of the biggest games for the club and the fans and the players as well, so let’s focus on this one first and win it. It’s always a pleasure that this kind of team wants you but don’t forget Liverpool. We beat big teams.”
Of those big team’s on the back of famous Liverpool humblings was none other than La Liga champions Barcelona, who finished 19 points above Real Madrid but could do nothing but succumb to their knees in the face of a 4-0 destructive defeat at the hands of Liverpool.
After brushing aside Bayern Munich, FC Porto and Barcelona ahead of the final in Madrid on Saturday, only Tottenham Hotspur stand in front of Klopp’s first piece of silverware as Liverpool manager and the Lilywhites are a team the Reds have already beaten twice this season.
However, Spurs are still a very dangerous opponent despite finishing 26 points behind Liverpool in the league championship with Mauricio Pochettino’s side developing the resilience to inspire famous victories and brush aside the likes of Borussia Dortmund, Manchester City and Ajax to reach their first ever European Final on June 1.
"We are going to give everything to win it"
Liverpool will be just as determined as Spurs to end the season with silverware and the pain of missing out on a first league title in 29 years by a point can be used as extra motivation for Mane and the team.
The forward added: added: “I think it’s incredible [to be in another final] and I’m so positive. We know we have targets – we wanted to win the league and the Champions League. We didn’t win the league but we still have one trophy to play for so we are going to try to give everything to win it. Everybody’s ready to win.
“We would have loved to win the league but we have to take it as a positive. It will give us more motivation.”
Liverpool have had three weeks to prepare for a second consecutive Champions League final and the 20 days building up to the biggest club match in European football has “refreshed everyone” according to Mane.
The pain and despair of Kiev will also help Liverpool avenge the demons of last season and it could be used as added motivation to get over the line this time around.
“I think we learned a lot from that final and now we can use our experience to get what we want,” he said. “Every time it makes it easier. We know how to deal with this kind of situation now.”