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Transfer Talk: Mane set to end Sad spell in Germany
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Matthew Hill
LiveScore
Sadio Mane could leave Bayern Munich after just one season
Sadio Mane could leave Bayern Munich after just one season

Sadio Mane's first season at Bayern Munich has been far from plain sailing.

A change of manager, one goal since October and a dressing room bust-up with team-mate Leroy Sane means the ex-Liverpool ace faces an uncertain future in Bavaria.

What is more, Bayern will miss out on the Bundesliga title for the first time since 2012 this weekend unless leaders Borussia Dortmund make a catastrophic slip-up in their final outing.

Ahead of his side's last league game at FC Cologne on Saturday, we take a closer look at Mane's rough year and ponder whether a move is on the cards.

Main Mane

Bayern's capture of Mane looked to be one of last summer's most impressive signings.

The Senegalese star, 31, won everything there was to win during his six-year stint at Anfield but turned down a contract offer to explore pastures new. 

And after seeing talismanic striker Robert Lewandowski leave for Barcelona, Bayern board member Hasan Salihamidzic was quick to hail Mane as the club's new star attraction.

Salihamidzic said: "The fact that he's joining Bayern Munich shows that our club and he have big aims.

"Sadio fits perfectly with the football that we play under Julian Nagelsmann."

Change of plan

Unfortunately for Mane, Nagelsmann is no longer in charge at the Allianz Arena.

The ex-RB Leipzig boss, 35, was sacked two months ago with club CEO Oliver Kahn citing "fluctuation in performances since the World Cup" as the reason for his dismissal.

His departure has unquestionably impacted Mane's form. Under Nagelsmann, the forward notched 16 direct goal involvements (11 goals, five assists) in 28 appearances across all competitions — a steady, if not outstanding, return.

But since ex-Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel took the reins, he has managed only a solitary goal and assist apiece in 10 outings.

What is more, six of those 10 appearances have been cameos from the bench lasting under half an hour.

Sadio Mane's first campaign with Bayern Munich has been a frustrating one
Sadio Mane's first campaign with Bayern Munich has been a frustrating one

Sane scrap

Sections of the German press have suggested that Mane's April punch-up with Sane has lowered his stock among club chiefs.

The forwards came to blows after Bayern's 3-0 Champions League loss at Manchester City and a bust lip for the former Citizens winger saw Mane internally disciplined with a fine and one-game suspension.

Sky Sports Germany reporter Florian Plettenberg said this week: "That situation with Sane was a shock for the management and his team-mates. 

"My information is that he is seen critically inside from now because of his performances and that behaviour.

"A lot of players have distanced themselves from Mane. He is a candidate for sale in the summer because he has a high salary and Tuchel has no real plans to work with him next season."

English return

Newcastle could target Sadio Mane after securing Champions League qualification
Newcastle could target Sadio Mane after securing Champions League qualification

Though Mane has suggested he has no intention of departing, the decision may be taken out of his hands.

A Premier League return would surely appeal, though his high wage demands would price most sides out of the running — including his former club.

Manchester United and Newcastle are reportedly the two suitors most keen on exploring a deal, though his Liverpool links make an Old Trafford move improbable.

However, the Magpies are set to embark on their first Champions League campaign in 20 years and their big-spending Saudi owners will surely be eyeing high-profile reinforcements.

If Mane wanted the ultimate cash injection, a reported approach from Saudi Pro League side Al-Hilal would surely be his best bet.

But given his apparent desire to continue playing at the very highest level, perhaps a switch to Tyneside is the likeliest outcome this summer. 

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