Salah, Mane and Aubameyang make shortlist for African player of the year. Photograph:( Reuters )
Egypt striker Salah claimed the honour last year and will be favourite again, hoping to become the fourth player to win back-to-back titles.
Forwards Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang have again made the shortlist for the Confederation of African Football (CAF) player of the year award, the second year running the trio have battled it out for the prestigious prize.
Egypt striker Salah claimed the honour last year and will be favourite again, hoping to become the fourth player to win back-to-back titles after Senegal forward El Hadji Diouf, Cameroon striker Samuel Eto'o and Ivory Coast midfielder Yaya Toure.
Liverpool team mate Mane from Senegal has been getting closer to the prize after finishing third in the voting in 2016 and second last year.
Gabon forward Aubameyang made the final three for the fifth time in succession, equalling the record set by Toure and former Ghana international midfielder Michael Essien.
His only victory came in 2015 when he beat Toure and Ghanaian Andre Ayew to the prize.
The award is voted for by the national team coaches and captains of CAF's 56 member associations and the winner for 2018 will be announced in Dakar, Senegal on Jan. 8.