Later News Jun 22

Mane, Lukaku bid farewell to the English Premier League


Two of the most high-profile forwards in the English Premier League (EPL), Sadio Mane and Romelu Lukaku, have left for greener pastures.

 

Mane left Liverpool to join Bayern Munich, where he has already been pre-emptively given the 2022/2023 German Bundesliga winners medal as part of his welcome gift package.

 

WATCH: Mane bids farewell to Liverpool

 

The Senegalese, who could cost Bayern up to £35m (S$60m), signed a contract with the German giants till 2025, as he cited the desire for a Manchester City-less league “new challenge” as a reason for his move.

 

“I'm very happy to finally be with FC Bayern in Munich. We had a lot of talks and I felt the great interest of this big club from the start,” said Mane. “So there was no doubt in my mind right from the start: This is the right time for this challenge. I want to achieve a lot with this club, also internationally.”

 

Mane also spoke about his departure from Liverpool, and claimed that he had left the club on amicable terms, despite breaking the hearts of the kitchen ladies.

 

“I sent a long text to say goodbye to everybody, which is normal. They were sad, as I was, but it is part of life. We just have to accept it,” revealed Mane. “That was the plan from the beginning – to leave Liverpool in a very good way. It was fantastic in the club, in the dressing room.

 

“I am friendly with everybody, the coaching staff and even the kitchen staff, the ladies in the kitchen! So, for me leaving in a good way is so, so important – and [for] the fans as well.”

 

WATCH: Mane talks about joining Bayern

 

Reds manager Jurgen Klopp wished Mane well for the future, and hailed the 30-year-old – who scored 120 goals and registered 48 assists in 269 appearances for the Merseyside outfit – as one of the club’s “greatest”.

 

Said Klopp: “It's a big moment. There is no point in anyone trying to pretend otherwise. One of Liverpool's greatest ever players is leaving and we must acknowledge how significant this is.

 

“He leaves with our gratitude and our love. He leaves with his status among the greats guaranteed. And, yes, he leaves in a moment where he is one of the best players in world football.

 

“But we must not dwell on what we now lose, instead celebrate what we were privileged to have. The goals he scored, the trophies he won; a legend, for sure, but also a modern-day Liverpool icon.”

 

WATCH: Behind the scenes of Mane's first day at Bayern

 

While Mane will leave Liverpool in glory, Belgian striker Lukaku will leave Chelsea with a reputation as bad as his first touch.

 

The 29-year-old, who only last summer re-joined Chelsea for a whopping £97.5m, is set to leave the Blues on loan and head back to Inter Milan for a paltry loan fee of up to £10.3m, depending on bonuses.

 

It is understood that the former Manchester United flop agreed to take a 30 percent pay cut to make the move happen, although to be fair, he probably already wasn’t making much from his Chelsea contract, due to his chronic inability to claim his goal bonuses.

 

To make matters worse for Lukaku, he has been warned to expect a lukewarm reaction to his return from Inter fans, who have not quite forgotten – or evidently forgiven – him for forcing the Italian club to sell him the previous summer.

 

WATCH: The best of Lukaku at Inter

 

In a statement released by the Inter Milan ultras, they said: “Since Lukaku's return to Inter is very likely, a few things need to be made clear. 

 

“Curva Nord supports Inter Milan and will not stage any protest against the player (despite his behaviour last summer). That being said, nobody shall go and welcome him with scarves and banners representing the Curva or its groups. He will need to earn everything that, in case, will be done for him in the future with humility and sweat on the pitch.

 

“He was supported (and treated) like a king, now he's just a player like many others. It shall also be clear to everyone that we will never cheer against Lukaku if he will wear the Inter jersey again.

 

“We encourage all Interisti [Inter fans] anyway not to fall in the other trap, to run and drool after him. Clearly there is an instinctive and emotional element, but to pretend that nothing has happened would only accelerate that process aimed at making us all dumb and slavish consumers.

 

“We took note of Lukaku's betrayal and we were extremely disappointed. With time we can even forgive such things to a footballer, but the facts won't change.

 

“Now, Romelu, let's kick and run.”

 

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