Sadio Mane is set to become Liverpool’s next summer signing after he was given permission to travel to Merseyside for a medical.
Liverpool agreed a £30million fee with Southampton over the weekend for the Senegal forward and he will now undergo a physical assessment before his representatives negotiate personal terms with chief executive Ian Ayre.
Jurgen Klopp has been determined to add Mane, 24, to his squad and Liverpool have been in discussions with Southampton for much of the past four weeks in order to strike a deal.
Klopp believes Mane has the pace, energy and aggression to give Liverpool’s attack a different dimension and at some point in the coming days, he will be confirmed as the third biggest signing in the club’s history.
It had been Klopp’s desire to have Mane on board for the start of pre-season – Liverpool’s non European Championship players report for work on July 2 – and he could even make his debut in the first pre-season game at Tranmere on July 8.
Mario Gotze, the Bayern Munich forward, had been the prime target on Klopp’s summer wish-list but when he indicated he was reluctant to move to the Premier League, Liverpool quickly turned their attentions to Mane.
Once the deal is completed, Southampton will have received £91.5million in transfer fees from Liverpool over the last three summers with Mane following Adam Lallana (£25m), Dejan Lovren (£20m), Nathaniel Clyne (£12.5m) and Rickie Lambert (£4m) from the south coast.
Mane, whom Southampton signed for £11.8million two years ago, made a lasting impression on Klopp when he scored twice and inspired a dramatic 3-2 win over Liverpool at St Mary’s on March 20.