Sadio Mane joked about leaving Liverpool in the summer following Senegal’s Africa Cup of Nations final victory against Egypt on Sunday evening.
The forward – who scored the winning penalty for Senegal in the shootout – was jokingly asked by his international team-mate Pape Gueye if he was going to join him at Marseille.
Mane is a supporter of the French team and replied while laughing: “Marseille, make an effort, put in the money and I’ll come! You have to pay the transfer and I’ll come!”
Liverpool are highly unlikely to accept an offer for the 29-year-old – from any club – as he remains an integral part of Jurgen Klopp’s team.
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Mane is expected to be part of the Liverpool squad to face Leicester at Anfield on Thursday, just four days after inspiring Senegal to their maiden AFCON title.
Senegal had previously lost the 2002 and 2019 finals. Their current manager – Aliou Cisse – missed the deciding penalty in their shootout defeat against Cameroon 20 years ago.
Speaking in November 2018, Mane revealed his love for Marseille.
“When I was little I watched the French championship a lot,” said the Liverpool icon. “Marseille is a club I have always supported. Even today I watch Marseille all the time.”
Mane is yet to play in Ligue 1, although he did start his professional career at lower league French side Metz just over a decade ago.
He was praised after Senegal’s historic victory for embracing his club team-mate Mohamed Salah, who was part of the Egypt team that lost the final.
“I told him that he remains a very great player and it’s a pleasure to play for the same club,” revealed the Senegal star when asked what he said to Salah.
“I have so much respect for him and he gave everything for his country. Unfortunately, he didn’t win, but that doesn’t mean it’s over for him.
“I also told him that he still has many things to win, including the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations. They have a young team so maybe they will win it one day.”
Despite scoring the winning penalty in the shootout, Mane missed a spot kick in the opening minutes of the final. Neither team managed to score inside 120 minutes.
“When I missed the first penalty, it was a big blow for me,” he added.
“But my team-mates came to me and said, ‘Sadio, we lose together and we win together. We know you. You have done too much for us – keep on going.’
“That made me stronger and I think it made the difference when I got the second one. All the boys came to me and said, ‘Sadio, we trust you’ – and that gave me more motivation.
“The trophy belongs to the whole Senegal team – everyone deserves it.”