Liverpool have announced a timetable for Sadio Mane's return to the club from Africa Cup of Nations duty. The Senegal international is expected at Anfield on August 5, the day after the Community Shield match against Manchester City.
The Reds announced the news via Twitter:
Manager Jurgen Klopp provided more information in an interview with the team's official website (h/t ESPN FC's Melissa Reddy):
"He is in good shape. Obviously they had a celebration in Senegal, and I'm happy about that because it showed that they respect the competition and saw the second place as a success, which is nice.
"He is now on holiday, not the longest one―he will be back on August 5, after the Manchester City game.
"That means he had two weeks. There is four or five days to prepare for Norwich, 10 days for Chelsea [in the UEFA Super Cup]."
City and the Reds will meet at Wembley Stadium on August 4 in the annual Community Shield match.
The Sky Blues won both the Premier League and FA Cup, meaning Liverpool were given the nod for the Wembley meeting by virtue of their second-place finish in the league. The Citizens also won last year's Community Shield and Carabao Cup.
Liverpool will start their Premier League campaign on August 9 against Norwich City before travelling to Istanbul for the UEFA Super Cup final against Chelsea on August 14.
The Reds are currently in the United States for their pre-season, while Mane is enjoying a vacation after the 2019 AFCON tournament.
The speedy forward and his Senegal team lost the final of that tournament 1-0 to Algeria:
While Mane wasn't at his best, he still bagged three goals at the AFCON tournament, good enough for a share of second place in the top-scorers' race. Nigeria's Odion Ighalo, who currently plays for Shanghai Shenua and had a stint with Watford, led all players with five goals.
While the 27-year-old Mane will have just a few days at the club to prepare for the clash with Norwich, his fitness level should be relatively high after such a short summer break.
Klopp could also opt to keep him on the sidelines for the clash with the Canaries and eye a debut in the Super Cup or against Southampton on August 17. The German has other options up front, including Divock Origi, who scored in the 2-1 friendly loss against Sevilla on Sunday.