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Sadio Mane Opens Up About Jurgen Klopp Phone Call That Convinced Him To Reject Man Utd And Join Liverpool

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Sadio Mane Opens Up About Jurgen Klopp Phone Call That Convinced Him To Reject Man Utd And Join Liverpool

Sadio Mane has opened up about the first conversation he had with Jurgen Klopp, who convinced him to join Liverpool over arch rivals Manchester United.

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The Senegal international was announced as Liverpool's third signing of the 2016 summer transfer window when he joined the Premier League club for a reported £34 million.

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Mane signed a five-year deal with the Reds but in a recent interview with The Telegraph, the 30-year-old says he was "really close" to joining the ranks at Old Trafford.

How close, you say? I'll let the man himself reveal all.

“I have to say, I was really close to going to Manchester United," says Mane. “I had the contract there. I had it all agreed. It was all ready, but instead I thought, ‘No, I want to go to Liverpool’. I was convinced to go with Klopp’s project."

Image credit: Alamy
Image credit: Alamy
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Jurgen Klopp made sure to contact Mane personally to tell him of Liverpool's interest and in that conversation, the forward "forgave" Klopp for not signing him at Borussia Dortmund.

"I still remember the first time I got the call from Klopp," Mane added. “I was watching TV. It was an action movie - because I love movies - and he said, ‘Sadio, listen, I want to explain to you what happened at Dortmund’.

"That was when he thought of signing 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 forgave 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 part of it’. Then he asked what position I wanted, because he could see at Southampton I played on the right side and I used to play on the left. I said I prefer left, and then he said, ‘but Coutinho is on the left!’

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"So I said, never mind, I will play on the right. I could see myself in all the positions.”

Image credit: Alamy
Image credit: Alamy

Back in 2020, ESPN claimed Mane rejected a transfer to Manchester United because he had reservations over Louis van Gaal's tactics and his reluctance to use players with flair and skill.

Van Gaal later confirmed their interest in Mane, along with several other big names.

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"I wanted Robert Lewandowski, but when this proved difficult I tried to get Gonzalo Higuain instead," Van Gaal told FourFourTwo. "Before I had arrived, I also spoke with the board about Neymar. If you are at United, you have to think big.

"He was also interesting for the club in terms of selling shirts, and I wanted to have quick wingers. For that reason, I also tried to get Sadio Mane and Riyad Mahrez.

"Thomas Muller was on my wish list, too, and in central midfield I wanted N’Golo Kante. I even tried to sign James Milner, who was already quite old but very multifunctional and possessed leadership skills.

"For the defence, I wanted Sergio Ramos and Mats Hummels, because ours wasn’t the strongest in building from the back."

Featured Image Credit: Instagram/sadiomaneofficiel - Alamy

Topics: Manchester United, Sadio Mane, Liverpool, Jurgen Klopp, Premier League

Jack Kenmare
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