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Mané leaves Bayern for Al Nassr, Tuchel says departure sad but 'for the best'

Sadio Mané   -  
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JOE KLAMAR/AFP or licensors


Senegalese international Sadio Mané, African champion in 2022 and winner of the Champions League with Liverpool in 2019, has signed up with Saudi club Al-Nassr after just one season with Bayern Munich, announced both clubs on Tuesday.

According to the German press, the transfer of Sadio Mané to Saudi Arabia amounts to around thirty million euros. The 31-year-old Senegalese's annual salary is said to be around €40m, plus bonuses of €10m depending on Al-Nassr's results.

"With his long absence, he was unable to invest himself in Bayern Munich, as we and as he had hoped," Jan-Christian Dreesen, Bayern's chairman of the board, said in a statement.

"That's why together we wanted him to start a new chapter in his career, and make a fresh start at another club," he added.

Bayern Munich's coach Thomas Tuchel also weighed in on the transfer saying it was for the best. "Me personally, I have a very good relationship always with him (Sadio Mane). This will stay" Tuchel said Tuesday. "It was kind of sad. We had a long hug, but we had both a smile on our faces and we assured ourselves to keep the good relationship. It's not personal from his side. I can totally understand that he feels hurt. I feel also not, not happy. If things like this happen, it always leaves something that we didn't, we didn't bring it to the full potential, which is my troubles and my responsibility." added the Bavarian coach.

At Al-Nassr, Mané will evolve with the five-time Portuguese Golden Ball Cristiano Ronaldo (2008, 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2017), who signed in January for two seasons. "CR7" was the first major recruit of the offensive led for eight months by Saudi Arabia on world football.

In the wake of Cristiano Ronaldo, Frenchman Karim Benzema, Ballon d'or 2022 ahead of Mané, joined Al-Ittihad, as did his compatriot N'Golo Kanté. Other big names like the Senegalese Kalidou Koulibaly (Al-Hilal), the Brazilian Roberto Firmino (Al-Ahli), have signed in the Saudi championship.

World champion with Argentina and seven-time Ballon d'Or (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2019, 2021), Lionel Messi preferred North American MLS, signing at Inter Miami.

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