Sadio Mane reveals he turned down Manchester United to join Liverpool
The Senegalese forward settled quickly in the English Premier League after his arrival from Red Bull Salzburg in 2014 having scored 25 goals in 75 appearances for the Saints before his transfer to Anfield.
Manchester United had made enquiries for Mane in several transfer windows before the ongoing one, but a move never materialised. Mane admits that United were courting him when asked,
“Yes, it was true. There was interest from a lot of clubs, not just Manchester United, but as soon as I knew Liverpool were interested I just felt it was the right club with the right coach. It was right for me to come here.
Liverpool are a massive club with a big history that has won many trophies over the years and as soon as I was told of the possibility to come here and I knew the manager wanted me I said yes. It was the right move. I recognise the size of the club and to progress to another level as a player this was the club and the moment for me. It was a step I needed to make.”
Mane seems to have been smitten by Liverpool’s trophy cabinet and prestige, despite their lack of recent success. Jurgen Klopp, the charismatic former Dortmund manager must have also surely played a role. With Mane’s soft spot for Liverpool though, it doesn’t look like convincing him to join their club would have been too hard.
“I was a Barcelona fan,My favourite player was Ronaldinho. But I watched a lot of English football and admired lots of English teams.
“The one game that really strikes me is the Champions League final versus AC Milan.
“I was thinking about that game on the day I signed for Liverpool. It is a famous game and it struck everyone in Africa at the time.”
Mane also goes on to talk about his conversation with Klopp at the time of discussing his move,
“It was a telephone conversation where we discussed different things, He realised I was a young player keen to work hard and progress. I said that was me. I told him I was straightforward and that I want to work hard.”
He ends on a positive note, stressing that he will give his best for his new club.
“The thing for me is not to focus on the fee. I just have to focus on what I can do in the games and in training. I want to take the club as far as I can.”