The behind-the-scenes story of how Bayern signed Sadio Mané from Liverpool revealed 3 days ago

The behind-the-scenes story of how Bayern signed Sadio Mané from Liverpool revealed

"Sadio asked many questions, everything was interesting to him."

Sadio Mane has officially joined Bayern Munich from Liverpool in a transfer worth an initial €32m.

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Mane has signed a three-year deal with the German champions, bringing to an end his highly-successful six-year spell at Anfield.

The Senegal forward scored 120 goals in 269 games for Jurgen Klopp's team and helped the Reds win the Premier League, the Champions League, the Club World Cup, the FA Cup and the League Cup.

How Bayern signed Mane from Liverpool.

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Details of how the surprise move occurred have emerged since the transfer was confirmed.

Mane was a key player under Jurgen Klopp at Anfield and not someone the club wanted to lose this summer, even if they have already signed a replacement in Darwin Nunez.

Yet, it appears that the former Southampton forward, 30, was keen to leave Liverpool for Bayern from the time the Bundesliga club made their interest known.

In an interview with German publication BILD, Hasan Salihamidzic, Bayern's sporting director, detailed how the club ended up signing Mane from Liverpool.

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Salihamidzic was in talks with Mane's agent Björn Bezemer who also represents Serge Gnabry about extending Gnarby's contract with the club.

During the meeting, Mane's name was mentioned and Salihamidzic was told that the Senegal forward had rejected Liverpool's attempts to extend his six-year stay at the club.

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"I was immediately interested," Salihamidzic said, before revealing that he, Bayern head coach Julian Nagelsmann and the club's technical director Marco Neppe flew to Liverpool two days later to meet with the player.

"For me, it was immediately clear if there was really a chance to sign Sadio Mane, I was ready to work on it day and night. Julian was fully behind it from the start."

Hasan Salihamidzic and Julian Nagelsmann.

Bayern's presentation to Mane.

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"Sadio received us at his home," Salihamidzic said.

"He was relaxed in shorts and holding a mango. He smiled and welcomed us...

"He still knows a bit of German from his time in Salzburg. The atmosphere was good and we had a connection from the start. I had a good feeling " 

Salihamidzic said the meeting with Mane lasted for four hours, where he was given a detailed presentation about the team's tactics and his role in the side, as well as an insight into the club.

"The coach explained to him our sporting concept," the Bayern sporting director said.

"Sadio noticed quickly why he would be a perfect player for FC Bayern and that his way of playing football fits us like a glove.

"Marco Neppe put together a presentation with a mix of tactical stuff but also showing the identity of FC Bayern so that Sadio gets a feeling for our fans, our city and our club.

"Sadio asked many questions, everything was interesting to him."

From Salihamidzic's account, it appears that Mane had made his mind up that evening to sign for the German champions. All that was left was to negotiate with Liverpool which, he says, "was not easy" but they eventually reached an agreement.

According to the Bayern director, Mane's "clear willingness" to join Bayern was "helpful" as it meant Liverpool were "willing to complete a deal" and not stand in the player's way.

Mane leaves Liverpool for Bayern.

Mane has signed a three-year deal with Bayern worth a reported £250,000 per week. The 30-year-old was reportedly paid £100,000 a week at Liverpool and was not amongst the club's highest earners.

When Mane's exit was confirmed on Wednesday afternoon, Liverpool manager Klopp paid a glowing tribute to the club's now-former player.

“It’s a big moment. There is no point in anyone trying to pretend otherwise," Klopp wrote on the club's official website.

“One of Liverpool’s greatest ever players is leaving and we must acknowledge how significant this is.

"He leaves with our gratitude and our love. He leaves with his status among the greats guaranteed. And, yes, he leaves in a moment where he is one of the best players in world football.

Klopp pays tribute to Mane.

"But we must not dwell on what we now lose, instead celebrate what we were privileged to have. The goals he scored, the trophies he won; a legend, for sure, but also a modern-day Liverpool icon.

“Since he first stepped through the door, he made us better. If someone had told us in that moment what he would go on to contribute and achieve for this club, I’m not sure it would have been possible to comprehend in that moment. Not the scale of it at least. Sadio made it all possible.

“To be that good for such a sustained period and continuously improve season on season – no matter how high he set his own bar in the previous one – is an example to any player anywhere on the planet that professionalism and dedication leads to reward.

“I respect completely his decision and I’m sure our supporters do also. If you love LFC, you have to love Sadio – non-negotiable. It is possible to do this while accepting our loss is Bayern’s gain.

“We wish him nothing but success in every match he plays in, unless, of course, it’s against us. His star will continue to rise, I have no doubts.

“I remember last season I was asked, in an interview or Q&A from memory, to describe Sadio in three words. I said at the time it’s not possible to do this.

“If I was to try I’d need to be allowed multiple attempts – because there are so many ways you can describe him using three words.

“World-class player! True club legend! Ideal role model! The perfect teammate! Compassionate, caring person!

“But the three words that feel the most appropriate today are also the hardest to say, ‘Will miss you!’”