Liverpool join race for Mane after cooling Gotze interest

The World Cup winner has not offered the Reds any assurances and they have switched their attentions to the Southampton star, who is also coveted by their Premier League rivals

Liverpool have turned their attentions to Sadio Mane following Mario Gotze’s refusal to offer any commitments over a potential move, but Goal understands they face stiff competition from Manchester United and Tottenham to sign the player.

Jurgen Klopp has highlighted the Southampton attacker as an alternative to the World Cup winner, who was the club’s primary target but is yet to offer any assurances over his future at Bayern Munich. 

The Senegal international could cost upwards of £25 million, with the Reds boss aware of the 24-year-old’s talents from his two-year spell at Red Bull Salzburg.

Ralf Rangnick, who was sporting director at the Austrian outfit when Mane was recruited, is a close friend of Klopp’s and the 48-year-old is hoping that that link can prove useful in negotiations.

Mane netted 15 goals in all competitions in 2015-16, providing nine assists, and the Liverpool manager is confident he has the pace as well as the dribbling ability to improve the club’s attack ahead of his first full season in charge. 

The Saints forward netted four times against the Reds in three matches during the recently completed campaign, with United and Spurs also interested in securing his services. 

Mane represents Liverpool’s ‘Plan B’ following the club’s decision to focus elsewhere given a lack of encouragement from Gotze. The 23-year-old has said he is looking forward to the new season at Bayern, but the Bundesliga giants have been unequivocal over the fact he is not central to their plans.

The door is not completely closed to Gotze, but Klopp will not remain static as he presses ahead with preparations for 2016-17.

Liverpool will also go all out as they try to land Borussia Mönchengladbach midfielder Mahmoud Dahoud. The 20-year-old has attracted interest from Dortmund and Spurs as well as a host of other European clubs, and it would be an impressive accomplishment if the Reds can pull a deal off.

Poland international Piotr Zielinski has also been linked in midfield, but with the club having only domestic commitments next season, it could most likely be a case of one or the other. 

Meanwhile, Liverpool are trying to tie up the signing of Leicester left-back Ben Chilwell. The 19-year-old, who has been monitored by Arsenal, has made it clear Anfield is his destination of choice.

He remains the main target for the position with the Merseysiders denying an offer for Lorient’s Raphael Guerreiro.