Sadio Mane is reportedly seeking a move away from Liverpool after being left fuming with Jurgen Klopp for backing Virgil van Dijk to win the Ballon d’Or award back in December.
The Senegal international has proved a bargain for Klopp since completing a £34 million switch from Southampton in 2016, scoring 77 goals in 161 appearances for the Reds and playing a crucial role in their Champions League success last term.
He has also helped them build up a 25-point lead at the top of the Premier League table this season.
But according to France Football, Mane is looking to leave Liverpool amid frustration with Klopp over his public backing of team-mate Van Dijk in the Ballon d’Or running.
Despite sharing last season’s Premier League Golden Boot with fellow Reds attacker Mohamed Salah and Arsenal ace Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, the 28-year-old finished fourth in the voting.
Van Dijk – who was crowned FIFA Men’s Player of the Year, UEFA Men’s Player of the Year and PFA Player of the Year for his 2018/19 efforts – was the bookies’ favourite to add the Ballon d’Or to his collection.
In the end the Dutchman was beaten to the prize by Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi, but Klopp insisted his star defender deserved to win it.
“Last season I cannot remember a more impressive season from a defender ever. Honestly,” he said.
“So it would have been right if Virg won it.”
Mane is said to have been left with a “bitter taste” over Klopp’s comments, meaning he is now open to departing Liverpool when the summer transfer window opens.
Real Madrid have been linked with a move for the winger, who is under contract at Anfield until 2023.
Senegal teammate Keita Balde recently hinted that Mane could leave Liverpool in the near future.
Blade said: “I don’t think Sadio Mane wants to stay there his whole life.”
It is believed Madrid would need to fork out around £130m to prise Mane away from Liverpool, which would make him the second most expensive player in football history.