Senegal star Sadio Mane has officially purchased lower-level French side Bourges Foot 18. The former Liverpool and Bayern Munich forward recently joined Saudi Pro League club Al Nassr earlier this summer. Mane’s move to the Middle East came with a massive pay raise.

According to a recent report, Mane rakes in around $48 million annually to play in Saudi Arabia. The 31-year-old attacker also adds about $4 million in off-field income as well. With a combined reported total income of $52 million in 2023, Mane is the eighth-highest-paid soccer player in the world.

Bourges Foot 18 is a new team that formed when two separate clubs joined forces. Bourges 18 and Bourges Foot, the two most popular teams in the city, agreed to combine in 2020. The club currently plays in the fourth-tiered Championnat National 2 division.

Bourges Foot 18 excited about future with Sadio Mane

“Bourges Foot 18 is proud to officially announce the structural support of Sadio Mané. An international star, Sadio Mané is now one of the best footballers in the world,” the French club said in a statement released on Wednesday.

“Known for his professionalism and strong human values, Sadio Mané is committing to Bourges through Bourges Foot 18 to promote the professionalization of local football. His decision to support the club testifies to his interest in the transformation initiated by the current president, Cheikh Sylla, and the growth potential that Bourges Foot 18 represents.”

“This collaboration promises to bring a new and exciting dynamic to the club and to the entire city! His arrival will have a national and international impact that will shine a light on the Bourges club and the entire community.”

Senegal star joins select list of current players to own a club

The move makes Mane the latest soccer star to purchase a stake in a team. However, it is fairly rare for a player who currently plays professionally to invest in a club. Retired stars are much more likely to buy teams. Former superstars David Beckham (Inter Miami), Gerard Pique (FC Andorra), Didier Drogba (Phoenix Rising), and Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Hammarby IF) all currently own pieces of teams.

Nevertheless, Mane joins a select group of current players who also have ownership in other clubs. Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy previously purchased a stake in Rochester New York FC back in 2021. The club, however, folded earlier this year due to an “unsustainable business model.”

Wilfried Zaha recently became the co-owner of AFC Croydon Athletic this past summer. The former Manchester United and Crystal Palace star now plays for Turkish giants Galatasaray. Zaha made the move to the Middle East just a month after purchasing the London-based club. AFC Croydon Athletic currently features in the ninth tier of English soccer.

Real Betis defender Hector Bellerin is part of the ownership as well. The former Arsenal full-back became the second-largest shareholder in Forest Green Rovers in 2020. The English club, known for its eco-friendly innovation, suffered relegation to League Two ahead of the current campaign.

Mane will need to work some magic to boost his new club. Bourges Foot 18 currently sits 13th out of 14 teams in Group B of the Championnat National 2. The French side has also allowed the most goals in the division so far this season.

PHOTO: IMAGO / Power Sport Images.