Sadio Mane admits he was 'thinking about Man Utd' before Liverpool transfer


Sadio Mane has admitted he was “thinking more about Manchester United” before joining Liverpool in 2016.

Mane has developed into a world-class player since signing from Southampton in a £34million switch, and was nominated for last year’s Ballon d’Or after helping Liverpool win the Champions League.

But the Senegal star has revealed he never expected to join the Reds before manager Jurgen Klopp came calling four years ago.

Klopp had already turned down the chance to sign Mane when he was Borussia Dortmund boss.

And Mane said he and his agent were anticipating a move to Liverpool’s fierce rivals United rather than the team who would go on to become European and world champions three years later.

Sadio Mane had already been turned down once by Jurgen Klopp once before joining Liverpool

Asked if he had been expecting the interest from Liverpool, 27-year-old Mane told the Times: “Not really.

“We were thinking most about Manchester United.

“That was a tough time for me as I was on the bench so I was not thinking about anyone calling me, but I was pleased he [Klopp] did and was not thinking I was a rapper.”

That comment is a reference to Klopp’s first impression of the forward when he first ran the rule over him as Dortmund boss.

Jurgen Klopp has admitted he thought Mane ‘looked like a rapper starting out’ when he first encountered him

Speaking in the ‘Made In Senegal’ documentary about Mane, Klopp remembers a young man who left him thinking: “I don’t have time for this.”

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“I remember my first encounter with Sadio. It was in Dortmund,” said Klopp in the documentary.

“There was a really young guy sitting there. His baseball cap was askew, the blond streak he still has today. He looked like a rapper just starting out. I thought, ‘I don’t have time for this.’

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“I’d say I have a pretty good feeling for people, but was I wrong.” Klopp added. “I followed his further career and continuing success in Salzburg. In Southampton, he just dominated.”

  • Made In Senegal is available for free on Rakuten TV





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