Sadio Mane has revealed that he very nearly signed for Manchester United earlier the same week that he joined Liverpool – and was convinced to come to Anfield ahead of Old Trafford by a phone call from Jurgen Klopp.
The Senegalese has far exceeded anyone’s expectations since he came in from Southampton, and scored 22 times in the Premier League this season, sharing the Golden Boot with Mo Salah and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
That he turned down United makes it even sweeter.
Mane explained, via The Express: “I was really, really close [to going to United] because I even met up with them. So I was coming, I was there and I spoke with the boss who was there before [Louis van Gaal].
“They made an offer, but in the same week, [Jurgen] Klopp called me. He said: ‘I think it’s the right club. The right coach for you, and I think it’s better that you go to Liverpool’.
“For me, I think it was the right time as well. I said, ‘I am going to Liverpool’. At that time, leaving Southampton, I saw many clubs, but I thought Liverpool was the right club for me.”
Mane will have a big role to play at the Wanda Metropolitano, that is for sure. Up against the suspect Kieran Trippier, he could have a lot of joy.
No one would bet against Mane being the matchwinner in Madrid – if the Reds win, whoever nets the decisive goal will be a legend for life!