“Ja, uh kommt,” Hasan Salihamidzic said when approached by Sky Sport Germany journalist Torben Hoffmann at the General Aviation Terminal, a private terminal at Munich Airport, on Friday evening: “Yes, he is coming.”
The Bayern Munich sporting director had just returned from Manchester where he met his Liverpool counterpart Julian Ward and Sadio Mané’s agent Björn Bezemer to agree a deal for the 30-year-old Senegal striker.
According to reports in Germany, Mané will receive a three-year contract to keep him at Munich until 2025 after Bayern paid Liverpool 32 million euros ($33.6 million) for his services, which could reach 41 million euros if nine bonuses – including six in Germany. Sports1 said are “relatively easy to do” – are triggered.
Mané, who will travel to Munich on Tuesday for a medical, is set to become Bayern’s third addition this summer, following young Ajax duo Ryan Gravenberch and Noussair Mazrouai, with an official announcement expected in the coming week.
He may only be the 11th most expensive transfer in Bayern history, but he is the club’s most expensive African signing after Medhi Benatia, who was born in France but represented Morocco internationally. who cost €28m in 2014. Dayot Upamecano (€42.5m from RB Leipzig in 2021) and Corentin Tolisso (€41.5m from Olympique Lyonnais in 2017) have roots in Guinea-Bissau and Togo respectively , but play for France.
A blow for Bayern, the Bundesliga – and for Hasan Salihamidzic
For Bayern Munich’s new hierarchy led by chief executive Oliver Kahn (who took over from Karl-Heinz Rummenigge last July), club president Herbert Hainer (who took over from Uli Hoeness in November 2019) and sporting director Salihamidzic , the capture of a Premier League star of the caliber of Mané is a real coup, for both Bayern and the Bundesliga.
“It’s usually the other way around, but this time a Bundesliga club signed a real Premier League star,” commented Kicker magazine. “The Bundesliga can expect to see a new world star,” added the Munich man. Abendzeitung.
“The Bundesliga lost [Erling] Haaland and we could lose [Robert] Lewandowski too,” said former Bayern captain and German legend Lothar Matthäus. “The Bundesliga brand needs faces. Mané is a big name in football, as he proved for Senegal and Liverpool.”
Reputation restored? Bayern Munich sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic oversaw Mane deal
But the applause belongs in particular to Salihamidzic. The former Bayern midfielder became sporting director in 2017 before joining the boardroom as sporting director in 2020, but the 45-year-old has received mixed reviews.
Arguably his most successful transfer deal to date was that of Canadian winger-turned-winger Alphonso Davies in 2018. Even then, no one could have predicted how Davies, an unknown teenager at the time, would flourish in a position other than the one he had. was signed for.
Otherwise, club-record signings Lucas Hernandez (€80m from Atletico Madrid), Leroy Sané (€60m from Manchester City) and Upamecano have struggled to varying degrees, while Michael Cuisance, Fiete Arp, Bouna Sarr, Marc Roca and even Marcel Sabitzer were far from successful, while Salihamidzic also had a public falling out with former head coach Hansi Flick.
But now, according to Sports1Salihamidzic played ‘a key role’ in negotiating and securing the deal for Mané, ‘spotting the possibility of signing the striker at the start of the year, carrying out numerous secret discussions with his agent Bezemer and ultimately convincing him personally Mané of a move [to Munich] – at a fair price.”
And with the aforementioned Roca also joining Leeds United on Friday for €12m, Salihamidzic also managed to turn a profit of €3m on a ‘flop’ that cost Espanyol €9m there. two years old.
Nagelsmann’s new tactical approach after Lewandowski
As Salihamidzic comes into its own in Bayern’s boardroom, Mané’s arrival could also usher in a new era on the pitch, as head coach Julian Nagelsmann continues to imprint his ethos on the eternals. German champions.
With star striker Lewandowski considering a move after eight years to Munich – potentially to Barcelona after the Catalans freed up €700m in additional potential funding from financial institutions through the sale of future merchandise and TV revenue – Mané could help Nagelsmann wean Bayern off their reliance on the irreplaceable Pole and switch to a more flexible attacking system.
Mané does not directly replace Lewandowski, but the change could usher in a new tactical approach
“But is he suitable for Bayern?” asked a skeptic Spiegel review this weekend. Nagelsmann is said to be keen on moving to a free-flowing front line without a number nine, similar to Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, with Mané swapping with Kingsley Coman, Jamal Musiala, Serge Gnabry, Thomas Müller and the underdog. -put pressure on Sané to create more unpredictability.
“Football under Nagelsmann is changing,” commented the Suddeutsche Zeitung“the show player is coming.”
A new era
Mané’s record over his last six seasons at Liverpool is certainly spectacular; 120 goals and 48 assists in 269 appearances in all competitions, contributing to a Premier League title, FA Cup win, Champions League triumph and two more finals.
But Mané is also down to earth, currently in Senegal on one of his regular visits to his native country, where he was pictured playing football with locals on a muddy pitch, far from the spectacle of the Premier League, the Bundesliga or even the Senegalese. national team, for whom he has scored 33 goals in 91 appearances since 2012.
Such numbers will convince Bayern Munich that they can successfully launch a new era – after Hoeness and Rummenigge, after ten in a row, and even after Lewandowski, but rather with Kahn, Salihamidzic, Nagelsmann and Mané. Ja, uh kommt.
Edited by: Mark Hallam