(Reuters) – Sadio Mane has said he is happy at Liverpool and will not let speculation that he is wanted by Real Madrid distract him ahead of Saturday’s Champions League final against Tottenham Hotspur.
Real are looking to strengthen their squad after reappointing Zinedine Zidane as manager and Mane is one of a number of players being linked with a move to Madrid, according to reports in Spain.
The Senegal international was joint top-scorer in the Premier League this season, alongside his team mate Mohamed Salah and Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, and signed a new five-year contract with Liverpool in November.
“For me the most important thing is Liverpool and I’m happy here,” Mane told reporters. “I’m preparing for one of the biggest games for the club, the fans and the players as well, so let’s focus on this one first and win it.
“(Speculation) is part of football so we have to deal with it. It’s always a pleasure that this kind of team wants (you), but don’t forget Liverpool. They beat big teams.”
Mane said Liverpool were especially motivated to beat Spurs after losing to Real in last season’s Champions League final and finishing second in the league behind Manchester City this season.
“(Last year’s final) will help with this one because we wanted to win it and it was not the case. It’s positive because many people didn’t expect us to play this final,” he added.
“We didn’t win the league but we still have one trophy to play for so we are going to try to give everything to win it.”
(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Simon Jennings)