Jurgen Klopp said he “couldn’t care less” about rumours linking Sadio Mane to Bayern Munich ahead of Liverpool’s Champions League final against Real Madrid.
The Liverpool manager could be poised to lose one of the most significant players in his squad at the end of the season.
Mane said earlier in the week that he would give “special” news regarding his future after the European showpiece game in Paris.
That and his suggestion it would be “the best answer” sparked speculation he would agree to stay at Liverpool, but it may not be quite so clear-cut, with Klopp having palmed away questions on Friday rather than offered any assurance that the 30-year-old will remain at Anfield.
“This is the wrong moment to speak about that. Wherever Sadio plays next season, he will be a big player,” Klopp said.
Bayern raided Borussia Dortmund for talent during Klopp’s time with BVB in the Bundesliga, with Robert Lewandowski notably prised away on a free transfer at the end of the 2013-14 season.
With Lewandowski’s Bayern future now in doubt, as he seeks a move, possibly to Barcelona, the Bundesliga champions are on the hunt for a goalscorer.
Klopp said: “Sadio’s in the shape of his life for sure. He’s in brilliant shape. It’s a joy to watch him at the moment.
“Football has asked him a lot this season – an incredibly long season, a lot of finals and this kind of things, one of the most successful for him and for us.
“The Bayern Munich rumours, I couldn’t care less in the moment. We are all fully focused on the game. Sadio’s completely focused on the game; he knows exactly how important it is to him and how important it is to us.
“So no concerns, completely normal.”
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Klopp said he could cope with the speculation surrounding Mane, who has helped Liverpool win the EFL Cup and FA Cup already this season.
The forward has played 50 clubs games this term, scoring 23 goals, as well as helping Senegal reach the Africa Cup of Nations final, scoring the penalty that clinched shoot-out success.
“It’s not the first time in my career before decisive games that Bayern Munich rumours come up,” Klopp said.
“I’m not exactly [sure] what I did that [means] it happens, but no problem at all.”