LIVERPOOL: Sadio Mane says he would understand if Liverpool were denied the Premier League title even though they were on the brink of glory when coronavirus forced a shutdown.

Jurgen Klopp’s men were 25 points clear of Manchester City when football came to a halt last month, agonisingly close to their first top-flight triumph in 30 years.

But it is unclear when, or even if, the season will be completed.

Asked if he feels like a champion, the 27-year-old Senegal forward told British media that he wanted to win the Premier League on the pitch.

“I want to win the games and I want to get the trophy, it’s what I would love,” he said. “But with this situation, whatever happens, I will understand.

“It has been difficult for Liverpool, but it has been more difficult for many millions of people around the world.

“Some people have lost family members and that is the more complicated situation. But for myself, it’s my dream and I want to win it this year.

“If that’s not the case, I will accept, it’s part of life. Hopefully we will win it next year.”

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin said this week there was “no way” Liverpool should finish the season without the title, even if the campaign is cancelled.

The Premier League confirmed last week that the season will only return when the health situation stabilises, leading to some suggestions the campaign could be called null and void.

And Mane praised manager Juergen Klopp for his positivity as the club’s players sit idle with the Premier League on hold.

“He (Klopp) is someone who’s really, really positive and right now he’s more positive than ever, which is his strength and which makes him so special,” Mane said.

“He’s always sending messages to the players to talk about things and he’s always positive, always positive, which is incredible for him.

“Hopefully this season will be not be made void and Liv­erpool will become [champions]. It has been an unbelievable season for me and my team mates and we are 25 points [ahead in the league], which is incredible."

Published in Dawn, April 9th, 2020