Sadio Mane on the moment he went back on agreement to join Manchester United
'I had the contract there. I had it all agreed. It was all ready'
Sadio Mane agreed to join Manchester United before Jurgen Klopp rang him and convinced him that his future was at Liverpool.
The Senegal international has won six trophies during his time at Anfield, including the Premier League and Champions League. However, he almost joined the club's bitter rivals in 2016.
Klopp convinced Mane to reject Man United.
Mane has established himself as one of the best attackers in Europe after arriving from Southampton in 2016 for £34million - registering 120 goals and 48 assists in 268 appearances. However, he almost didn't make the move to Merseyside.
Liverpool were one of a number of clubs interested in the then Southampton man, with Mane having accepted an offer to join Man United. It is thought that Louis van Gaal, who was replaced as first-team manager by Jose Mourinho that summer, was a big fan of the forward and was keen to bring him to Old Trafford.
However, after receiving a call from Liverpool boss Klopp - who had previously tried to sign him for Borussia Dortmund - Mane was quick to reject a move to United in favour of signing for the Reds.
"I have to say, I was really close to going to Manchester United," Mane told Jamie Carragher in an interview for The Telegraph.
“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. I still remember the first time I got the call from Klopp.
“He said, ‘We have a big project at Liverpool and I want you to be part of it’."
"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. I still remember the first time I got the call from Klopp."
“I have to say, I was really close to signing for Man United. I had a 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 to Klopp’s project."
— Watch LFC (@Watch_LFC) May 27, 2022
He 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!' So I said, never mind, I will play on the right. I could see myself in all the positions."
Mane's Liverpool future in doubt.
The Reds forward has said he will announce what his Liverpool future holds after the Champions League final on Saturday night.
He has promised he will provide a "special" answer to questions over his next move after laughing off speculation linking him with a move to Real Madrid in the summer.
Mane's contract expires in June 2023 and he has been linked with a move to Bayern Munich in recent weeks, with Barcelona and Real Madrid also thought to be interested.
As reported by Sky Germany, Bayern are confident that they can secure his signature for less than €50million, with the club's sporting director having recently met with Mane's representatives.
🚨 Bayern Munich are confident they can sign Sadio Mane for less than €50M this summer
🔝 Bayern sporting director Salihamidzic has made Mane the top priority on his transfer list and met his representatives this month to formalise the interest pic.twitter.com/N4aZtgO41o
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) May 27, 2022
The Senegal international will feature in his second Champions League final in the space of three years against Madrid on Saturday night, as Liverpool look to secure a third trophy this season having already bagged the FA Cup and League Cup.