Sadio Mane has revealed he came ‘very close’ to signing with Manchester United before joining Liverpool in 2016, for a reported £30million fee.
Mane had ‘agreed’ the terms with the Red Devils and was given a contract by the club before pulling out of the deal after speaking with Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp.
The Senegal international said Klopp has convinced him that the Merseyside club is the best destination for his future.
Speaking with Jamie Carragher for: The Telegraph, Mane said: ‘I have to say, I was very close to going to Manchester United. I had the contract there. I had agreed it all.
“It was all done, but instead I thought, ‘No, I want to go to Liverpool’. I was convinced to go for Klopp’s project. I still remember the first time I got the call from Klopp.
“I was watching TV. It was an action movie because I like movies and he said, ‘Sadio, listen, I want to explain to you what happened in Dortmund’.
“Then he thought of getting me for Dortmund and for some reason it didn’t work out. He tried to explain and I said ‘it’s okay, it happened’. I have forgiven him.
“Then he said, ‘Now I want you at Liverpool’. And I said: ‘Okay, Dortmund is behind us, let’s focus on the future’.
“He said, ‘We have a big project at Liverpool and I want you to be a part of it.’ Then he asked what position I wanted because at Southampton he could see I was playing on the right and I was playing on the left.
“I said I’d rather be on the left, then he said, ‘But Coutinho is on the left!’ So I said, never mind, I’m playing on the right. I could see myself in all positions.’
Mane became the club’s third most expensive purchase, behind Andy Carroll and Christian Benteke, when he moved to Liverpool in 2016.
At the time of Mane’s signing, Klopp said: “I have followed Sadio for many years since his impressive performance at the 2012 Olympics and then watched his development in Austria and through his time at Southampton.