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Transfer Rumor Roundup: Mane plays down Real Madrid links, Lukaku to Inter, and more

Liverpool v Barcelona - UEFA Champions League Semi Final: Second Leg

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MAY 07: Sadio Mane of Liverpool evades Sergi Roberto of Barcelona during the UEFA Champions League Semi Final second leg match between Liverpool and Barcelona at Anfield on May 07, 2019 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

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Sadio Mane has had a breakout last couple of years for Liverpool, taking his game to a new level. He finished joint top of the Premier League in scoring with 22 goals and has helped lead Liverpool to the UEFA Champions League final.

So it’s no surprise then that he’s being linked with a move to Real Madrid.

Speaking to reporters ahead of this weekend’s UEFA Champions League final - set to take place in Madrid - Mane said that while he appreciated being linked with some of the biggest clubs in the world, he was more than happy at Liverpool. The Senegal international inked a new five-year contract with Liverpool earlier this season, taking him through the end of the 2022-2023 season.

“This is always part of football so we have to deal with it but for me the most important thing is Liverpool and I’m happy here,” Mane said, via the Guardian. “I’m preparing for one of the biggest games for the club and the fans and the players as well, so let’s focus on this one first and win it. It’s always a pleasure that this kind of team wants you but don’t forget Liverpool. We beat big teams.”

Mane scored 22 goals in the Premier League, with another four in the Champions League. While Mane didn’t score, his tenacity and guile helped Liverpool complete an incredible 3-0 comeback to defeat Barcelona, 4-3 on aggregate in the semifinals. It’s helped Mane and Liverpool make the club’s second-straight Champions League final.

Here are more transfer rumors from across the Premier League:

Lukaku to Inter?

Romelu Lukaku had a disappointing run to end the 2018-2019 Premier League season (along with most of the Man United squad), and it may be the last time we see him in those colors.

According to a report in Italian daily Gazzetta Dello Sport, Lukaku has already traveled to Italy to meet with Inter Milan executives, and is willing to take a pay cut to join the Italian giants. Inter barely made it into the Champions League for next year, giving Lukaku the added benefit of top quality European soccer for next year. In addition, without the blistering pace needed in the Premier League, he may benefit more in the more technical, tactical Serie A.

Lukaku’s move to Inter all depends on whether Mauro Icardi stays or goes. The mercurial striker is a goal machine, but brings drama with him and has been a lightning rod for criticism this season.