Fabinho admitted he’d attempted to change Sadio Mane’s mind prior to his Bayern Munich switch after Liverpool’s close shave with the history books at the end of the 2021/22 campaign.
The former Monaco star’s efforts ultimately proved unsuccessful, however, with the Reds agreeing the £27.5m exit of their star winger-turned-striker.
“At the end of the season, I spoke a lot with Sadio,” the holding midfielder told James Pearce at The Athletic.
“He told me about the situation that he could leave.
“I was always saying to him, ‘Come on Sadio, stay here. You can win the Premier League and the Champions League right here, don’t leave’.
“But I think he had already made his mind up. We had to respect that.”
Despite discussions producing an unsatisfactory conclusion, however, the Brazilian still held out ‘some hope’ of his teammate changing his mind.
“After the parade in Liverpool, everyone said goodbye to him,” Fabinho continued.
“We knew there was a good chance he would be leaving.
“I always kept some hope that he would still stay but then it was all confirmed.”
In our No.3’s words, there’s no question that our former No.10 will be a ‘big loss’ in the immediate future despite the big-money move for Darwin Nunez.
The Senegalese international was absolutely integral to the early years (and beyond) of Jurgen Klopp’s revolution, helping catapult us back into Europe and the contest for the Premier League title.
Any change in the formula that produced so much success for Liverpool in recent years will represent a risk of sorts, though costing £64m it represents a thoroughly calculated one for a recruitment team known for its meticulous nature.