The 2023 Africa Cup of Nations has been rearranged due to weather concerns. What does the postponement mean for Bayern Munich and new signing Sadio Mane?
The next AFCON was orginally slated for June-July 2023, but will now take place between January and February 2024, due to summer flood risks in host county Ivory Coast.
Instead of a short pre-season, Mane will be unavailable to Bayern when the 2023/24 Bundesliga campaign resumes after its customary winter break. For just how long depends on the exact scheduling of both competitions.
Club and countryman Bouna Sarr, for example, missed four Bundesliga matches as a Senegal team spearheaded by Mane won the 2021 AFCON in the early part of 2022.
Not that Mane's involvement is his country's maiden AFCON triumph had a negative effect on his performances at club level.
The 30-year-old scored 13 of his 23 goals in all competitions in 2021/22 during the second half of the season, helping Liverpool win the FA and Carabao Cups, whilst finishing as English Premier League and UEFA Champions League runners-up.
Bayern's marquee summer signing did so, having produced three goals and two assists across seven 2021 AFCON appearances, as well as the winning penalty in the final against Egypt. He has since struck four times in two 2023 AFCON qualifiers.
Watch: Sadio Mane's unveiling as a Bayern Munich player
Mane has signed a three-year deal with Bayern, following a prolific six-season spell at Liverpool totalling 120 goals and 48 assists.
The Bayern No.17 could make his competitive debut for the record champions when they meet DFB Cup holders RB Leipzig in the Supercup on 29 July, and is expected to take to the Bundesliga stage for the first time, away to Eintracht Frankfurt, a week later.
It promises to be a busy few seasons for Mane, who will be key to Senegal's 2022 FIFA World Cup hopes in Qatar this winter. The Lions of Teranga are in Group A alongside Qatar, Ecuador and the Netherlands.
As well as Mane and Sarr, Bayern could also be without new signing Noussair Mazraoui (Morocco) as a result of the delayed 2023 AFCON finals.
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