Liverpool are edging closer to their big summer signing as the Reds have agreed a fee of £34m, rising to £36m in performance-related add-ons., with Southampton for winger Sadio Mane.
The deal is expected to be completed by midweek, making him the fifth player from St Mary’s to join Liverpool in the last three seasons.
The Senegal international has scored 21 Premier League goals in 67 games since signing for the Saints from Red Bull Salzburg two years ago.
Where the 24-year-old will fit among a host of attacking talent that includes Roberto Firmino, Philippe Coutinho and Adam Lallana, who can all play in behind a striker or be deployed wider, is an exciting prospect.
A combination of three of the four in behind Sturridge would appear to be Klopp’s most obvious line-up, with Mane wreaking havoc from the right wing with licence to come inside and run at defenders.
Klopp hasn’t been afraid to play without a traditional No.9 either, using Firmino in the role, and he could do so again with Mane and Coutinho behind him in a three-pronged attack.
These options forget the fact that Mane is just as happy in behind the striker at No.10 as he is in his perceived primary position out wide. He started centrally 18 out of 30 starts, so that is clearly where Ronald Koeman thought him most useful. Although his two goals there as opposed the five in nine starts in a wide role begs to differ.
His pace and ability has many Liverpool supporters comparing him to Raheem Sterling, who left the club last summer for Manchester City.
Sterling and Mane both often take up the No.10 roles for their clubs, though the Saints player has proven himself more clinical in front of goal, scoring 11 Premier League goals last season.
Although many Liverpool fans were disappointed to see the 21-year-old Sterling leave, the arrival of the 24-year-old Mane is seem by many fans as a better deal than the one City got last year.
The 24-year-old would be Liverpool’s fourth new signing for the 2016-17 season, following deals for midfielder Marko Grujic, centre-back Joel Matip and goalkeeper Loris Karius.