Sadio Mane is about to leave Liverpool FC for Bayern Munich. As Mane’s Anfield journey is about to come to an end, we look back to the time when Klopp wanted to punch himself for refusing Mane’s transfer to Dortmund.
Mane’s Anfield Journey
Sadio Mane’s Liverpool career is coming to an end after the Reds agreed to sell the Senegalese to Bayern Munich for €41 million earlier this week. Sources in Germany are stating he will have a physical on Tuesday.
After seeing him score 120 goals in six seasons on Merseyside, Kopites will inevitably wave him goodbye with a heavy heart. With having seen him lead Liverpool back into the Champions League for the first time since 2009. He then also helped them win six trophies and be crowned champions of England, Europe, and the world.
With a year remaining on his contract, it was just a matter of time until the Reds had to consider his future without him. While he may show in Bavaria that there was more juice to be squeezed from this famous combination at Anfield. Liverpool executives may take solace in the knowledge that they have enjoyed Mane’s peak years and are still able to sell him at a profit.
When the Reds recruited the Senegal international from Southampton in the summer of 2016, he was the second piece of their attacking puzzle after Roberto Firmino. With the addition of Mohamed Salah the following year, Klopp assembled Europe’s strongest front line, which swept all before them.
Klopp on Mane’s Transfer to Liverpool and correcting a previous mistake
Mane was Klopp’s first major signing at Anfield. He was brought in at the start of the German’s first full season at the club in order to convert naysayers into believers. And his desire to get the Senegalese from Southampton as a way of bolstering his assault. And it stemmed from a prior transfer blunder that left Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp confessing he could have punched himself.
Klopp first explored signing Mane while he was the manager of Borussia Dortmund. And even conducted negotiations with the then-RB Salzburg player about a possible move to the Westfalenstadion in 2014. On this occasion, however, he determined the player wasn’t for him before quickly realizing he had made a mistake.
Klopp on Mane’s transfer said:
“I made a mistake. We met each other, we talked but by the end, I didn’t feel it. I like the player, it was more of a feeling. His baseball cap was askew, the blond streak he still has today. He looked like a rapper just starting out. I thought, ‘I don’t have time for this.
I’d say I have a pretty good feeling for people, but was I wrong. At Dortmund, we could only get one player for this position, not two or three. So, it needed to be exactly the right fit at this moment. About three months later I would have punched myself. So, I already knew that the next chance I have, I would take it.
It was a pretty simple decision with Sadio. When the club came this summer and Michael Edwards said we have an opportunity, there were no talks necessary anymore. It was a case of ‘Let’s do it.
Since I came here I have spoken to the staff a lot about him. And have always felt he could be a very good signing for us. He would have been more expensive if we had taken him to Dortmund and then he had been sold to Liverpool. So all good for Liverpool. The more I think about it, that was my first Liverpool decision. Nice!”
Mane could have played for Man United!!
Dortmund’s loss was Liverpool’s gain in 2016. As Klopp made sure he got his man in 2016, even taking him from Manchester United’s grasp. When trying to persuade the forward to join him at Anfield, the German would apologize to him in a private phone call.
When asked about his decision to join Liverpool, Mane revealed in an interview with the Telegraph last month:
“I have to say I was really close to going to Manchester United.I had the contract there. I had it all agreed. It was all ready.”