Liverpool set to miss out on Champions League windfall despite contract agreement

Liverpool FC team manager Jurgen Klopp attends a press conference at the Singapore Festival of Football in Singapore

While Liverpool might not have qualified for this season’s Champions League, Anfield bosses would have briefly had a clear favoured side to back in this year’s tournament instead.

Such an incentive would have grown even further too, once it became clear that the Reds would not need to rely on the progression of their fellow English clubs to secure their return to next year’s edition.

For purely financial reasons, at one point it would have benefitted Liverpool if Bayern Munich were crowned champions of Europe.

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When the Reds sold Sadio Mane to the Bavarians in a deal worth up to £35.1m in June 2022, one of the agreed clauses would have seen them receive a windfall if the German giants went on to win the Champions League.

Liverpool received an initial £27.4m for the Senegalese, with a further £7.7m in add-ons. This was made up of £5.1m due based on appearances, and £2.6m also owed, based on individual and team achievements.

But with Mane leaving Bayern last summer after just one season, how much of that additional fee the Reds ended up actually banking is debatable.

Bayern’s first initial bid was worth £21.5m, with its add-ons dismissed as ‘laughable’. Equating to a little over £4m, they were all based on individual and team achievements, with The Times reporting that the Reds would only receive the full fee if Munich were to win the Champions League, and the player the Ballon d’Or, each season over the course of his three-year contract.

This was still the case in their second offer, when offering an overall £30m package, which was also rejected by the club.

Liverpool were believed to be bemused at the nature of the add-ons, which they regarded as a joke given the unlikely chance of them coming to fruition. Evidently, a compromise was met with more achievable clauses when the two sides eventually shook on a £35m deal.

Bayern did at least win the Bundesliga title when it came to team achievements last year, even if they did fall short in their Champions League exploits, as Mane returned 12 goals and six assists from 38 appearances for the club.

Meanwhile, this year Bayern have fallen short in the league, missing out on the title to Xabi Alonso’s Bayer Leverkusen, but they can still be crowned European champions after reaching the Champions League semi-finals.

Facing Real Madrid, they drew 2-2 in Munich last week ahead of travelling to the Bernabeu for the second leg on Wednesday night - with Borussia Dortmund lying in wait for the victors in a Wembley showdown later this month.

Yet regardless of whether Bayern get past Real Madrid or not, Liverpool are now due to miss out on the previously-agreed windfall after Mane was sold to Saudi Pro League side Al-Nassr after just one season last August.

Depending on the specific agreement met between the Reds and Bayern, Liverpool could have still been entitled to bonus payments if team triumphs were achieved within the span of Mane’s initial three-year contract.

However, it’s understood that the add-ons related to Bayern winning the Champions League only remained active while Mane remained at the club. Sources in England and Germany have both confirmed that they believe the relevant clause is no longer valid.

Were the Mane still a Bayern Munich player, Liverpool would have been entitled to a percentage of the £2.6m in add-ons relevant to team achievements if they were to win the Champions League, as per their transfer agreement.

But such a clause seemingly became void the moment the Bavarians sold Mane, with the Reds set to miss out on their previously-agreed windfall as a result.