Liverpool forward Sadio Mane has not looked himself recently and that may be because he has “one eye on Barcelona” ahead of a potential move.
That is according to former Premier League star Noel Whelan, speaking exclusively to Football Insider after what he perceived to be a lacklustre Mane performance in last night’s 4-1 defeat to Manchester City.
The Africa Cup of Nations finalist has 130 goal contributions in Liverpool colours over the last four-and-a-half seasons since signing from Southampton in 2016.
But pundits and fans alike have generally observed that the 28-year-old has not performed at his magnificent best of late, as has Whelan.
Mane has long been linked with a Camp Nou move and Whelan proposes that the Senegalese forward’s recent below-par displays could be because he has had his head turned.
“He doesn’t seem at it at the minute,” he told Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs.
“I’m not sure what’s wrong but he doesn’t seem like the same player he was by a long stretch.
“You look at him and you see his performances haven’t been glowing.
“Maybe he’s got one eye on Barcelona, or maybe something’s been eating away at him.”
The defeat to Manchester City leaves Liverpool 10 points behind Pep Guardiola’s side, who also have a game in hand one last season’s champions.
Liverpool are currently averaging just over 1.7 points per game in the 2020-21 campaign and on that basis are on track to finish the season with just 66 points.