London - Senegal
striker Sadio Mane has joined Liverpool from Premier League rivals
Southampton on a "long-term contract" for an undisclosed fee, the
Anfield club announced on Tuesday.
British media reports suggested Mane had signed a five-year contract
in a deal worth some £30 million.
That would make Mane, who scored 25 goals in 75 appearances for the
Saints, Liverpool's third-most expensive signing behind fellow strikers
Andy Carroll (£35 million) and Christian Benteke (£32.5 million).
"Today is a big day and I am very happy to sign for one of the
biggest clubs in Europe," Mane told Liverpool's website. "It's a club
that has won a lot of trophies and has a big history.
"Now I am looking forward to meeting all the staff and my team-mates and starting the season."
Southampton finished sixth in the Premier League last season, two places above Liverpool.
But in terms of history, supporter base and finance, five-time
European champions Liverpool remain a significantly 'bigger' club than
Mane is the fourth player signed by Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp in
pre-season, with the striker following centre-back Joel Matip,
midfielder Marko Grujic and goalkeeper Loris Karius to Merseyside.
There have been reports that Liverpool are prepared to help finance
the Mane deal by selling Belgium forward Benteke, who failed to sparkle
last term following his transfer from Aston Villa.
Mane - who will bring Southampton a huge profit on the £10 million
they paid Austrian side Salzburg in 2014 - is the fifth Saints player
to leave the south coast club for north-west side Liverpool in the past
He will now find himself sharing a changing room at Anfield with
fellow Southampton 'old boys' Adam Lallana, Dejan Lovren and Nathaniel
Rickie Lambert, another former Southampton player, was also at Liverpool but has since moved on.
Mane, who scored 11 goals last term, is the second star name to leave
managerless Southampton in the past week after Kenyan midfielder Victor
Wanyama joined Tottenham Hotspur for £11 million.
Southampton, who did dip into the transfer market on Saturday by
buying winger Nathan Redmond for £10 million from relegated Norwich
City, have been without a manager since Dutch boss Ronald Koeman left to
take over at Liverpool's city rivals Everton earlier this month.
Liverpool players who have not been involved in the European
Championships are due to return for pre-season training on Saturday,
with their first friendly the following Friday at nearby Tranmere.