Liverpool host Everton in the 232nd Merseyside derby on Sunday

As fellow Senegalese stars a long way from home on Merseyside, Gueye and Mane are usually in ­constant contact most weeks ­talking, texting and meeting up to share their mutual bond.

But when the Mersey showdown comes around and they’re due to face-off at Anfield or Goodison ­contact is always severed until after battle has concluded.

And although the duo might ­exchange pleasantries in the warm-up it’ll be strictly business for both men until the final ­whistle has been blown by referee Chris ­Kavanagh today.

Gueye said: “We are good friends, we meet sometimes and have a chat and we talk when we are away with the ­national team.

“Every time we play for Senegal we travel together too. And if the game is in our own country we always fly together from Manchester to Paris on the way to Dakar.

“But one week before the derby we always stop talking!

“We don’t send a message and we don’t call. We like to play this game, like we are supporters. He tells me before the game, ‘Don’t call me’ and I say, ‘OK, no problem’!

“We can start talking again after the game and if we win I will call him straight away.

“After he scored in one game in his first season he came to me ­afterwards and said maybe next time you will win. Hopefully the next game it will be my turn to do that!”