Jeremy Doku is reportedly set to sign for Manchester City this week, but the Belgian winger was close to joining Liverpool in 2018. Sadio Mane advised the then 15-year-old Doku to take care with his development, which is why he decided against joining the Anfield side.
Doku instead signed a professional contract with Belgian side Anderlecht. He then joined Rennes in 2020 and established himself as one of the most exciting young wingers in Europe.
As per a report in the talkSPORT, Manchester City have agreed a £55 million deal with Rennes to sign Doku. Soon after the report, the Belgian's old comments about his conversation with Mane when he was close to joining Liverpool resurfaced.
Speaking to Ouest-France in 2021, Doku revealed that he talked to Jurgen Klopp and even got a signed shirt from Mohamed Salah when the Reds were trying to sign him. He added that there was a tour around the training ground and stadium for the Belgian before Mane's advice saw him turn down the move. He was quoted by talkSPORT as saying:
"My 16th birthday was coming up, the age you can sign a pro contract. A lot of teams came to see me - Liverpool was the most concrete interest but there was also Arsenal and Chelsea. I went with my mum and dad, and we were given a tour of the stadium, the training ground, even the school I would go to. They gave me a signed Salah shirt, and I met the players."
"I was able to discuss with Jurgen, Gerrard too, we looked at some video moments, and he spoke about the development. We met players, [Simon] Mignolet because he was Belgian, [Georginio] Wijnaldum from Netherlands."
The Belgian winger continued:
"I talked a lot with Mane, but we didn't really talk about football. We talked about everything. He told me that I was young, that I still had time… he wasn't trying to convince me or to say to me 'come here, you will succeed'. So I preferred to be careful"
Sadio Mane left Liverpool in 2022 for Bayern Munich
Sadio Mane played 269 matches for Liverpool in all competitions before leaving for Bayern Munich last summer. He scored 120 goals for the Reds while providing 48 assists.
However, his move to the German champions did not go as planned. He played 38 matches in all competitions for them and scored 12 goals while providing 6 assists.
They were quick to let him leave a season later and he has now joined Cristiano Ronaldo at Al Nassr. The Senegal forward has already played seven matches for the Saudi Pro League side, and scored once.