Report claims Liverpool are willing to use Jordon Ibe as a makeweight in deal for Sadio Mane

Sadio Mane celebrates with Jose Fonte and Shane Long (R) after scoring the first goal for Southampton

Liverpool are keen to bring Mane to Anfield, and Southampton are widely believed to hold interest in Ibe.

Sadio Mane celebrates after scoring the second goal for Southampton

Liverpool could use Southampton's interest in signing talented young winger Jordon Ibe as leverage in their attempts to bring Sadio Mane to Anfield, according to a report from the Times.

The Reds are believed to have identified Mane as their new primary target after their failed pursuit of Bayern Munich star Mario Gotze, with the Senegalese star having scored 25 goals in 75 appearances in his two seasons at the Saints.

With Ronald Koeman likely to be desperate to hold on to one of his side's most prized assets, it is thought that it would take a bid of at least around £25 million for the south coast club to consider selling the 24-year-old.

Sadio Mane scores the fourth goal for Southampton and completes his hat trick

However, the Times claims that Jurgen Klopp would be prepared to offer Southampton a chance to bring reported target Jordon Ibe to St. Mary's as a key incentive in a potential deal.

Ibe has registered four goals and four assists this season but has been used almost exclusively as an impact substitute or a rotation starter, and Liverpool would likely be willing to part with the 20-year-old if it meant signing Mane became a more realistic proposition.

Liverpool's Jordon Ibe in action against Manchester United's James Weir and Paddy McNair

The Daily Star claims that Ibe has become frustrated with his inability to cement a regular place in Klopp's side and would be happy to continue his career elsewhere.

If a deal can be struck for Mane which includes a still-hefty price tag and Ibe's move, it could prove to be a profitable agreement for both sides.

Sadio Mane scores the fourth goal for Southampton

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