The African stars have been attracting interest from top European clubs following their impressive displays in Jurgen Klopp’s team
Mane and Salah moved to Anfield for a then African record fee, with the Senegalese star joining from Southampton in 2016 in a deal worth £35 million before his Egyptian teammate completed a £36.9 million move the following year, which could rise up to £43.9 million due to add-ons.
Both players play prominent roles at Liverpool and they have 30 league goals between them in this campaign. Their goalscoring abilities have reportedly made them transfer targets for Real Madrid and top European clubs.
Arsenal’s Nicolas Pepe currently holds the African record for the most expensive player after completing a £72m move from Lille last summer.
When asked who would be the next big African transfer, Rufai chose Mane and Salah.
“Looking at the quality and performances at the moment, one of the African players I will pick is Sadio Mane and at the same time, Mohamed Salah because they are making headway consistently,” Rufai told Goal.
“Nigerian players are also doing very well, Osimhen is doing brilliantly well in France and Odion Ighalo is back doing his thing. When you look at my pick, the forwards get the recognition more often.
“Nicolas Pepe is also a forward too, you can have a defender who is a very good player but this is the nature of the game, more attention is being paid to the decider of the games – the forwards. Once in awhile, goalkeepers and defenders come up, but the focus is on forwards.”
Following his record move to North London last summer, Pepe has been widely criticised for his slow start to life in England.
“We can’t justify if Pepe is worth the amount Arsenal bought him until the end of the season,” he continued.
“The reason is that if a price tag is placed on a player, it is not an opinion of one party, it is a general valuation agreed upon because a player is worth it.
“There has been a lot of research, technicality and more before a player can have a huge price tag. If a player is not playing up to expectations then it is not the fact that the money is too much, there might be some reason behind his performances.”