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Sadio Mane has now completed his move from Liverpool to Bayern Munich but things could have turned out very differently for the Senegal international had Lionel Messi or Paris Saint-Germain got their way.
Mane, 30, has joined Bayern on a three-year deal from Liverpool, who are set to receive up to £35.1m for the forward.
It has now been confirmed the PSG were also interested in signing Mane this summer.
But the player's advisor, Bacary Cisse, says that the uncertainty over the future of former PSG sporting director Leonardo, who was sacked in May, scuppered a potential deal for Mane.
"Yes, PSG did indeed 'attack' Sadio. Leonardo had several contacts with the German agent," Cisse told French outlet RMC Sport.
"They saw each other, they discussed the ins and outs of a possible transfer of Sadio at PSG, but it ended there.
"Everyone knows that Leonardo was on an ejection seat; we had to wait."
Cisse also claimed that Lionel Messi was keen to link up with Mane in 2021 while he was still at Barcelona.
Messi made signing the Senegal star one of the conditions for him to remain at the Nou Camp, according to Cisse.
However, the Catalan club made no official approach for Mane and Messi would later move to PSG on a free transfer after his contract expired at Barcelona.
"Last year it could have also happened with FC Barcelona," added Cisse.
"It was Lionel Messi who imposed Sadio Mane in the deal when it was a question of him extending to Barca.
"He had given two names: Sadio Mane and an Argentinian central defender."
Mane's move to Bayern Munich could work out in the favour of Barcelona, who are working on a deal to sign Robert Lewandowski from the German champions.
The Poland international has one year remaining on his deal at the Allianz Arena but is keen to move to the Nou Camp.
Barcelona have reportedly failed with an initial offer of £30m plus around £4m in add-ons for the striker, with Bayern holding out for their £43m valuation of the 33-year-old.
Featured Image Credit: Alamy
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