Liverpool may face issues inorder to stop Mane from joining Madrid

Liverpool star Mane is wanted by Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane, who has long craved the arrival of the Senegal international.

With 17 Premier League goals to his name – none of which from the penalty spot – the 26-year-old has been blockbuster so far this season.

Liverpool now face a fight to keep Mane, with Real Madrid due to come calling when the transfer window reopens in the summer.

And history shows that, when Los Blancos come to town, they rarely leave empty-handed.

Liverpool are a team doing well, a team with the potential to win the Premier League and Champions League trophies this season.

But what if they don’t? What then?

History suggests that heartache can lead to transfer decisions. And Real, more often than not, are there to pick up the pieces.

In 2009, Kaka was left crushed after AC Milan had missed out on the Serie A title to fierce rivals Inter Milan.

But Real were there to put a consoling arm around him and, in a matter of weeks, had their man in a £65m deal.

Cristiano Ronaldo won a third consecutive Premier League title with Manchester United that same year.

But it was an agonising defeat to Barcelona in the Champions League final that proved the final straw.

Ronaldo had always dreamed of Real – but moved because he sensed a changing of the guard was due to take place.

Madrid are a rare side. No matter how badly they play, they will always have appeal.

And an added incentive for Mane will be the prospect of becoming Real’s best African player of all time.

Over the years, they have tried looking at the continent for gems. But, more often that not, it has not worked out.

Yaya Toure and Samuel Eto’o were both once on their books. But the duo, ironically, enjoyed their best years at fierce rivals Barcelona instead.

Emmanuel Adebayor and Michael Essien were both on the wane when they arrived during Jose Mourinho’s time in charge.

Mahamadou Diarra was a rare exception but few would glamorise the midfielder, despite his gritty and determined style of play.

Mane, however, could become Real’s first-ever African icon. And, for a man who once wore torn boots and shredded shorts, to then sign for the biggest club in the world, that would mean everything.

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