Robbie Keane has questioned why any player would swap Liverpool for Bayern Munich amid strong speculation that Sadio Mane could be on his way to the German champions.
Bayern are reported to have had a second bid of €35.3million (£30m), a part of which is made up of bonus-related add-ons, rejected by Liverpool earlier this week.
Mane has won six major trophies across his six seasons at Anfield and has another 12 months to run on his contract.
However, speaking while away on international duty with Senegal last week, the 30-year-old hinted he is open to departing the English giants this window.
But ex-Liverpool striker Keane has suggested Mane would be making a backwards step in his career if he moves from the Premier League runners-up to the Bundesliga winners.
Keane told Stats Perform at a media day ahead of his participation in Sunday’s Soccer Aid charity match:
“If Mane goes obviously it’s a big loss for Liverpool.
“If the rumours are true and he goes to Bayern Munich, it’s a great signing for them. It looks like they’re going to lose [Robert] Lewandowski.
“I can’t really see why would you leave Liverpool to go to Bayern Munich at this moment in time.
“Especially when you got a manager like Jurgen Klopp and what they’re doing at the moment in winning two cups, and could’ve easily won four of them.
“I’m surprised by it. Obviously he’s a top, top player. I’m sure, wherever he goes, any team will be happy with him.”
Mane has scored 90 goals in 196 Premier League appearances for Liverpool since joining from Southampton for £34m at the start of the 2016-17 campaign.
Only Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy (104), Liverpool colleague Mohamed Salah (118) and Tottenham’s Harry Kane (134) have scored more in the competition in that period.
He would undoubtedly leave a huge void to be filled, but Jurgen Klopp’s side appear to be close to signing Benfica forward Darwin Nunez as a likely replacement.
Nunez has scored 48 goals in 85 games for Benfica in all competitions, 61 of those being starts, and averaged 1.2 goals every 90 minutes in the Portuguese Primeira Liga last season.
That compares to 0.5 goals per 90 minutes in the Premier League for Mane, albeit across six more matches in the 2021-22 season and in what is a tougher division.
Keane, who spent a season at Anfield in 2008-09, believes Nunez will provide something a little different for Liverpool should a deal be agreed with Benfica.
“I’ve watched him a few times and I think he’s a good player.
“He’s obviously young and he’s more of a number nine, which Liverpool haven’t had for a few years.
“They have [Roberto] Firmino, of course, but Firmino drops into 10. They haven’t had a typical number nine.
“So it’ll bring a bit more of a target man up there who others can play off. I think it will be a good signing.”
Keane is also looking forward to playing in this weekend’s Soccer Aid in association with UNICEF, a charity match that will help raise money to give kids the best start in life.
“We’re here so UNICEF can raise as much money as possible, which is an incredible cause,” he said.
“What they’ve done over the last 11-12 years, the amount of money they’ve raised is incredible. But it’s also good to come here and mix with completely different people.”
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