Sadio Mane has backtracked on his Liverpool exit comments amid transfer reports linking him with Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain, insisting he still has a lot of respect for the Reds.
Mane only has one year left on his current deal at Liverpool and there has been no sign of an extension being agreed, leading to major question marks over his future at Anfield.
Indeed, GOAL reported after the Reds’ Champions League final loss to Real Madrid that the 30-year-old has already made the decision to move on, with Bayern touted as his most likely next destination.
Mane gave the clearest indication yet that he is set to leave Liverpool before Senegal’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifying clash against Benin on Saturday.
He said that “between 60 and 70 per cent” of Senegalese supporters would like him to secure a summer transfer and promised to “do what they want”.
Those remarks naturally added extra fuel to the rumour mill, with PSG also reportedly interested in Mane’s services, but he has now insisted that he wasn’t being serious in the pre-match conference.
Speaking after scoring a hat-trick in Senegal’s 3-1 win over Benin, the Liverpool star told Canal Plus: “I spoke yesterday while joking with a bit of humour and it was everywhere. I think we’ll stop there.
“Liverpool is a club I respect a lot. The fans adopted me since day one. Regarding the future, we’ll see.”
Mane also spoke to reporters in the mixed zone after the game, and was asked which team he prefers between Real Madrid and Barcelona.
His reply suggested that another surprise club might yet emerge as contenders for his signature.