JURGEN KLOPP believes Mane could be Liverpool’s big star in the Champions League final — but hinted it could be his last game for the club.
The frontman goes into the Paris showdown against Real Madrid in great form with 23 goals in 50 club appearances this season.
The Champions League final could be Sadio Mane’s final Liverpool game amid links to Bayern Munich Credit: Richard Pelham / The Sun
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp backed Mane to fire the Reds to Champions League glory Credit: Richard Pelham / The Sun
Klopp admitted he did not know where Mane would be playing next season Credit: Getty
Mane, 30, is a Bayern Munich target and Klopp said: “Sadio is in the shape of his life, a joy to watch in training and in games.
“We ask a lot of him. He has had an incredibly long season, a lot of finals, and it has been so far one of the most successful seasons for him.”
But when pressed about whether Mane could leave this summer, Klopp added: “This is the wrong moment to speak about that.
“Wherever Sadio will play next season he will be a big player. Definitely.”
Former Borussia Dortmund chief Klopp added: “I couldn’t care less about the Bayern Munich rumours.
“Sadio is focused on the game. It is not the first time in my career before decisive games that Bayern Munich rumours come up.”
Klopp believes a seventh European Cup for Liverpool could boost the chances of Mane or team-mate Mo Salah winning the Ballon d’Or. The strike pair are in the mix but Real hotshot Karim Benzema is favourite.
When asked if the final will be decisive to win the individual trophy, Klopp said: “When you think about how these are won then probably, yes.
“You are either Ronaldo, Messi or you won the Champions League final. That’s the only way you do it.”
Klopp has enjoyed an injury boost as both Thiago Alcantara and Fabinho are fit again as his side chase a cup treble this season after beating Chelsea in BOTH the Carabao Cup and FA Cup finals at Wembley.
The German said: “The world we are living in means we get judged by the final result.
“If you are a football person then you know what my boys did this season so far is absolutely exceptional.
“But in the end, it is all measured by the colour of the medal you get after a game. That is how it is. I am really happy with what we did so far.
“People think the team have only won two penalty shootouts but playing Chelsea for 120 minutes and then preparing for pens is one of the most difficult things you can imagine.
“The mood is good. Very good. I am really excited. We are here for a third time in five years, which is special.”