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Bundesliga - Football: Bayern lay down marker with Mane move

Sadio Mane has completed his move from Liverpool to Bayern Munich, joining the Bundesliga giants for a fee in the region of £35million.

(This article was originally published on 22.06.2022)

Head coach Jurgen Klopp has decided to part ways with the 30-year-old, who had been a shining light for the Reds in his six years at the club.

He scored 120 goals in 269 games across all competitions for the Merseysiders and now the Senegalese will look to spice up Bayern's attack as they seek to regain their Champions League crown.

The Bavarian club are priced at 1/5 to win the Bundesliga once again next year, while they are 7/1 to win the Champions League - which they last scooped in 2020 by beating PSG 1-0 in the final.

Mane set to add star quality

Bayern certainly don't have a lack of talent in forward areas, but the addition of Mane will help them greatly in their pursuit of European glory.

Mane was one of Klopp's first signings as Liverpool boss back in the summer of 2016 and he went on to be one of the modern greats at Anfield, helping them to a Premier League title, two Champions League trophies and a domestic cup double last season  - with the Reds 2/1 to win back the Premier League title next season.

Despite turning 30 last season, he showed no signs of slowing down which, in the eyes of some, made it a surprise that Klopp sanctioned the deal.

However, the arrival of winger Luis Diaz in January and the recent capture of Benfica's red-hot forward Darwin Nunez have added further options to Klopp's squad and he obviously felt he could live without the form former Southampton man.

Bayern have the likes of Thomas Muller, Leroy Sane, Kingsley Coman, and Serge Gnabry in their squad and Mane will certainly ramp up the levels of competition in wide areas. The latter stages of his time at Anfield also saw him play centrally - could he have been signed as a replacement for the unhappy Robert Lewandowski?

Bayern aiming for Euro success

Last year saw Bayern Munich win their tenth consecutive Bundesliga title at a relative canter, with Julian Nagelsmann becoming the latest to add his name to the pantheon of managers who have helped steer them to their national crown.

However, the real aim for FC Hollywood is to compete more often in the Champions League and that is what signings like Mane are designed to do.

The German champions were surprisingly dumped out of the competition at the quarter-final stage after going down 1-0 to Villarreal in Spain then only managing a 1-1 draw at home.

Bayern have only won the Champions League once since 2013 and given how often they have sailed to success in the Bundesliga, it is something of a surprise they cannot translate that form to European competition.

Mane is definitely a marquee capture and brings with him experience of winning at the highest level - something they will need to replace with goal machine Lewandowski destined to leave as the Pole publicly yearns for a new challenge.

Elsewhere, Bayern have looked to Ajax to further strengthen their squad with right-back Noussair Mazraoui and midfielder Ryan Gravenberch also joining the club.

Both players are very highly rated and Nagelsmann - who has a reputation for helping young players blossom - will be counting on them to help lift trophies.

Easy way out for Mane?

There is a school of thought that suggests the Bundesliga is uncompetitive and this will be an easy few years for Mane as he winds down his career.

However, the move seems to suit all parties best - Liverpool have ultimately made a profit on a player who has been sensational for them over the years.

Bayern are getting a proven world-class operator who has experience of winning multiple trophies, and Mane himself gets an opportunity to play in another league and embrace a new challenge.

The Reds will miss him no doubt, though Diaz made such an impact after arriving last season that his departure may not be felt as badly as first feared.

And Bayern may be in the same boat if Lewandowksi does end his long stay in Germany, so it will certainly be interesting to see how Mane stacks up in the Bundesliga.

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