Sadio Mane will miss Liverpool’s Community Shield match against Manchester City as Jurgen Klopp confirmed he is to return from vacation on August 5.The Reds star has gone through a busy summer, finishing out his club season with Liverpool on June 1 with a Champions League triumph over Tottenham.He then joined up with Senegal for the Africa Cup of Nations, where he guided his nation to the tournament final, losing to Algeria 1-0 in the decider. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Liverpool meanwhile, are well underway with their pre-season preparations, and are in the midst of a tour of the United States.Mane is not alone in his absence, as Roberto Firmino, Alisson Becker, who both featured for Brazil’s Copa America winning side, and Mohamed Salah, who starred for Egypt at AFCON, are also on extended breaks.However, with Mane’s tournament ending the latest – the final was July 19 – Liverpool manager Klopp confirmed he will return the first Monday of August.Doing so means he will miss the Community Shield against City the day before and will have less than a week to prepare for the Premier League opener against top-flight returnees Norwich City.“He is in good shape,” Klopp told the club’s official website.“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].”The club will be hoping Mane’s busy summer will not take too much out of him after he enjoyed a stellar 2018-19 campaign for the Reds.He finished with 22 goals in the Premier League, which saw him end level with team-mate Salah and Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for the Golden Boot.Mane also added four goals in the Champions League to help Liverpool to their sixth title in the competition. Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the web
Credit:PA Grass verges must be allowed to grow because plants and animals are dying, a national conservation charity has warned.Plantlife is mounting a petition against local councils calling for them to scale back their mowing of verges after revealing there has been a fall of almost 20 per cent in plant diversity.Meadows have suffered a decline of 97 per cent since the 1930s and now the charity has warned that verges are acting as the last remaining refuge for many bees, butterflies, birds, bats and bugs.Plantlife botanical specialist Dr Trevor Dines said: “Councils have adopted this over-eager regime to mowing which really has been around for sometime now, thanks to the neat and tidy brigade.“There is this idea that all verges must look like a village green, and councils are now having to undertake this balancing act to firstly keep drivers safe but then also help wildlife where possible.“It really is a vicious cycle but I think councils should at least try and take some action towards protecting our wildlife.” Dr Dines addressed these fears saying that it was “vital” that road safety came first, but that not every verge needed to be “turned into green concrete with no wildlife left.”Concerns have also been voiced over the impact of emissions from vehicle exhausts which are acting as a fertiliser for a group of nitrogen-loving plants like nettles, which outcompete traditional flowers. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Credit:PA In a bid to save our verges Plantlife have launched a petition calling for councils’ management to better benefit flowers and wildlife which has so far reached more than 24,600 signatures. Those councils that have already adopted the guidance of Plantlife have seen strong floral and financial results. Dorset Council estimates they have saved over £100,000 through, among other things, fewer cuts since 2014.However, the AA cited that a number of drivers have complained about overgrown road sides, which they say could have dangerous consequences.A spokesman from the AA said: “In many places we can see that verges have become havens for wildlife and plants, however there also needs to be considerations for driver safety and this must be paramount.“Especially at junctions and roundabouts drivers are having to edge out, sometimes onto the roundabout, just to see behind grass verges which can of course be dangerous. And I think drivers do appreciate the need to maximise natural potential, but not at the expense of safety.“We appreciate what councils and conservationists are doing, but of course there are many drivers who still have concerns.” The government says nitrogen emissions from exhausts will steadily fall as vehicles get cleaner over coming decades.The Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland, BSBI, agrees that roadside plant diversity is falling, and nitrogen deposition near roads had increased.But it said the interplay between air pollution and poor management impacts on roadside verges by local councils was not well understood.