First, I’ll get this out of the way now and say that this is a long shot at best. But with Roma’s transfer market moving slowly as Tiago Pinto works to bring in a striker and midfielder—with Alvaro Morata and Marcel Sabitzer reportedly the main targets—and with the season still over a month away, I think it’s an opportune time to allow ourselves to dream big. To that point, Roma should look to bring in Sadio Mané from Bayern Munich.
As our colleagues at Bavarian Football Works point out, Sadio Mané is seemingly a man destined for the exit door at Bayern following a disappointing and injury-riddled first season at the club. The Senegalese forward joined the German giants last summer for a reported €32 million fee, a figure that was initially seen as a coup for Bayern.
However, a three-month injury in the middle of the season ostensibly ruined his first year with Bayern and cruelly ruled him out of the World Cup, so you can imagine Mané feels that he hasn’t yet had the opportunity to prove himself at the club. Unfortunately, a physical altercation with Leroy Sane in the spring did him no favors, and with a wealth of attacking options available, Mané has now found himself as the odd man out, especially when you factor in Bayern’s current pursuit of Harry Kane.
And that’s where Roma comes in. Currently looking for a center-forward to replace the injured Tammy Abraham, the Giallorossi have an opportunity to be bold and shift gears from their current striker targets to pursue the former Liverpool star.
The Senegalese forward can play both on the left wing and as a central striker, which would give José Mourinho another attacking player capable of playing multiple positions. His versatility, combined with the football IQ and tactical awareness that were hallmarks of his Liverpool career, would make Mané an inspired signing and potentially one the best players in Serie A—if he were able to recapture his Liverpool form in a different environment.
Of course, there would be major roadblocks and risks in a move for the Bayern man. He's 31 years old and coming off an injury-riddled campaign, not to mention Roma’s inability to offer the player Champions League football, but as always, the financial elements are the biggest barriers to any potential move.
Bayern signed Sadio for a relatively low fee, and while that was largely due to the time remaining on his Liverpool contract, it may suggest that Bayern is more inclined to cut their loss, as opposed to a scenario where they had paid €70 million. Even still, Roma is having a difficult enough time in securing the services of Sabitzer, which you’d imagine is an easier operation to pull off than a Sadio Mané transfer, so the Giallorossi would likely have to offload an additional player to fund a move.
On top of that, Mané makes a reported €22 million a year, not exactly a figure that Roma are able to afford. So on top of having to come up with a fee for Bayern (unless the Bavarian giants are open to a loan with obligation while covering the player’s salary), Roma would have to convince the player to take a significant salary cut.
So, clearly, this would be a significant long-shot, but a move for Sadio Mané would give Roma a player that could function as a Tammy replacement in the short term and give Roma even more flexibility in the attack. And if Mané is able to recapture his Liverpool form, the Giallorossi arguably would be landing a player that could make Roma a Scudetto candidate.