Sadio Mane has revealed that Jurgen Klopp was pursuing him long before his tenure at Liverpool. The Senegalese footballer has consistently found the net throughout his senior career, beginning with his three-year spell with Red Bull Salzburg. Mane scored 45 goals in 87 appearances for the Austrian club, capturing the attention of the scouts of the top European teams.
"Before I came here, I had the chance to meet Klopp when he was at Borussia Dortmund," Mane said to BBC Sport.
"I was at Red Bull Salzburg and he tried to sign me - but it didn't happen and that is football. He is a good manager and he is someone who likes his players.”
Mane’s statements reveal that the German manager’s interest in him has been long-standing. Jurgen Klopp has built his reputation on hand-picking some of the best footballing talents in the world and then turning them into one cohesive team with relentless intensity. Mane’s pace, energy and endeavour have made him one of the perfect signings for Klopp, and there’s no doubt that his Liverpool career has started with a lot of promise.
The midfielder went on to speak about Klopp’s personal effort to secure his signing and his delight at being at Liverpool football club.
"At the end of last season, he called me and told me he wanted me to come to Liverpool. I said straightaway that I want to come. It was the right time and right coach for me. I am very happy to be here."
The most expensive African player in history
Liverpool had to pay a princely fee to sign Mane from Southampton, £34 million was the reported fee paid to the Saints. The transfer fee made him the most expensive African player in history and raised a fair amount of criticism in the media for its excessiveness but it’s fair to say the Senegalese has kicked off his Liverpool career in the manner that has already made fans and pundits believe that he will be worth every penny paid.
Liverpool currently sit fourth in the Premier League table, level on points with third placed Arsenal and only a couple of points behind leaders Manchester City. Their next game is the widely anticipated clash with Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United side at Anfield on Monday night.
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