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Liverpool could be forced into a transfer rethink over their plans to replace Sadio Mane with reports suggesting the Reds are set to miss out on Ousmane Dembele. The Barcelona winger is due to become a free agent in the coming weeks, and is now said to be ‘close’ to becoming the first signing of the new era at Chelsea.
Mane along with team-mates Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah are now entering the final year of their contracts at Anfield, and the Senegal international refused to comment on his future ahead of the Champions League final. However, the 30-year-old is now widely reported to have outlined his intentions to leave Merseyside following six successful seasons with Jurgen Klopp’s side.
Bayern Munich have been strongly linked with a summer move for Mane, who has netted 120 times during his time at Liverpool. Reports indicate the German giants would likely have to bid in excess of £35 million in order to convince the Reds to sell the versatile forward.
Luis Diaz has enjoyed a sensational start to life on Merseyside following his January switch from Porto, and Klopp now faces the challenge of replacing one of his most consistent performers of recent seasons. One name tipped as a potential attacking reinforcement is Dembele, despite the France international struggling to live up to his £136 million price tag with Barcelona.
Xavi has repeatedly stressed his desire for the former Borussia Dortmund star to extend his stay at the Camp Nou, but as it stands the 25-year-old will be on the move this summer. Dembele lacks the goal return of Mane with just two strikes this season, but the winger has provided 13 assists and earned the faith of the Barcelona boss.
Liverpool have already submitted a contract ‘proposal’ for Dembele to consider, according to Spanish title Sport. However, the Premier League runners-up look set to miss out on the winger, with Mundo Deportivo now claiming Chelsea are on the verge of reaching an agreement.
The switch would see Thomas Tuchel reunited with Dembele, and would mark the first arrival of the Todd Boehly era at Stamford Bridge. The winger’s agent has stressed his options remain ‘open’, but a deal with the Blues would likely see one of Callum Hudson-Odoi, Christian Pulisic, Timo Werner or Hakim Ziyech depart this summer.
Indeed, it’s set to be a busy summer for Premier League teams as they attempt to stop Manchester City and Liverpool dominating the top-flight.
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