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18/07/2023 17:22

Sadio Mane might be Owen 2.0 for Man Utd

Manchester United are being connected with a slew of potential targets as the summer transfer window approaches, as manager Erik ten Hag looks to enhance his squad ahead of next season.

Among the numerous transfer rumours regarding the Red Devils, one potentially surprising allegation that has emerged in recent days is the link to Sadio Mane, a former Liverpool man, with Spanish reports claiming that the Senegalese attacker might be a potential target for the top-four aspirations.

This comes after Sky Germany reported that both Manchester United and Newcastle United are interested in signing the 31-year-old, with the Champions League-winning winger set to leave current club Bayern Munich after a disappointing debut season in Germany.

The former Southampton star only moved to the Allianz Arena on a £35 million transfer last summer after a six-year run at Anfield, but despite scoring 12 goals and adding six assists in 37 appearances thus far, the Bavarian giants are rumored to be considering an escape.

That has created an opening for United, who reportedly struck a deal with Mane prior to his departure to Merseyside in 2016, to pounce, with another ex-Liverpool man about to make the difficult journey to the Theatre of Dreams.

Would Mane be a good fit for Manchester United?

United have a history of irritating their opponents, having signed Michael Owen on a free transfer from Newcastle United in 2009, with the now-retired striker beginning his career with the Reds and scored over 150 goals for the Merseysiders.

That contentious trade, however, did not bear fruit, as the aged striker – who was 29 at the time of his switch – was continually plagued by injuries over the next few years, despite scoring a spectacular, stoppage-time winner in the Manchester derby during his debut season.

Before joining Stoke City in the summer of 2012, the former England international had scored just 17 goals in 52 games for Sir Alex Ferguson’s side.

In the case of Mane, the signing of the 94-cap star would be justified due to his earlier heroics at Anfield, with the versatile attacker, like Owen, proving very clinical for United’s adversaries, with 120 goals and 48 assists in just 269 appearances.

Previously described as “brutal” and like a “machine” by Reds manager Jurgen Klopp, the 5 foot 9 speedster has lost his way somewhat during his time at Bayern, making it difficult to predict which version of the striker Ten Hag would be acquiring.

According to Sky Sports writer Florian Plettenberg, Mane’s troubles in his present surroundings have been highlighted by the fact that people in Germany have even joked that they may have signed the marksman’s “twin brother,” with the deal becoming an undeniable “mistake.”

There may be a notion that the former Red Bull Salzburg star is past his prime, as appeared to be the case during Owen’s time in Manchester, which is why Ten Hag should avoid the £35m-rated asset.

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