Mane had Man Utd contract agreed before Liverpool move with Klopp forgiven for Dortmund transfer snub


The Senegalese forward says he was ready to seal a switch to Old Trafford before the German coach convinced him to head for Anfield

Sadio Mane has revealed he had a contract agreed with Manchester United before performing a transfer U-turn in 2016, forgiving Jurgen Klopp for previously snubbing him at Borussia Dortmund and completing a move to Liverpool.

The Senegal international forward was hot property at that time having proven his worth in the Premier League at Southampton.

Man Utd thought they had won the race for a sought-after signature as Jose Mourinho prepared to inherit the managerial reins, but the German boss on Merseyside convinced Mane that Anfield was the place to be.

Did Sadio Mane almost join Manchester United?

Mane, who is on a contract at Liverpool through to 2023, told The Telegraph of how close he came to joining their arch-rivals: “I have to say, I was really close to going to Manchester United. 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 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’. 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.”

Did Mane make the right decision?

Mourinho did deliver Community Shield, League Cup and Europa League successes during his first season with Man Utd, but the Red Devils have remained trophyless over the last five years.

In contrast, Liverpool have earned a reputation as one of the most fearsome sides in world football, with Mane contributing significantly to a memorable era for a rejuvenated outfit.

He has recorded more than 100 goals for the Reds, while helping them to a Champions League crown, Premier League title, FA Cup triumph and Carabao Cup win.

Klopp has also overseen UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup successes, with another European trophy there to be shot at on Saturday as Mane and co prepare to face Real Madrid in an eagerly-anticipated continental clash at Stade de France.

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