Sadio Mane “forgave” Jurgen Klopp in secret phone call ahead of Liverpool transfer

A LOOK BACK: Sadio Mane is on his way out of Liverpool with Bayern Munich reaching an agreement after a breakthrough in talks, but his career could have been very different if not for a Jurgen Klopp phone call

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Sadio Mane’s illustrious six-year Liverpool spell is set to come to an end at the start of next week, after Bayern Munich finally reached an agreement to sign him.

The Reds forward, who has won almost every domestic and European honor on offer at Anfield, made it clear that he wanted to leave the club this summer, with just 12 months remaining on his contract. And after weeks of negotiations between the two sides, a breakthrough was reached on Friday and the 30-year-old is now set to join the German champions in a deal worth £35.1million.

His exit draws the curtain on a Liverpool career which will see him recognized as a modern-day great and one of Jurgen Klopp’s greatest ever transfer decisions. But unlike the collective admiration for every Kop deal in 2022, there was some trepidation about spending £30million back in 2016.

Jamie Carragher initially felt the deal was expensive and now accepts that his tweet hasn’t aged well. Nor have the responses agreeing with him. “It shows how unsure I was about how good Mane was that the cost of the deal was concerning,” he wrote in a Telegraph column.

“When players perform as Mane has, there appears to be a collective amnesia of how the deal was perceived when it was announced.” But while there were doubters outside the Anfield bubble, Klopp knew all too well about the talent he was recruiting.

And such was his desperation to ensure it was the red of Liverpool rather than Manchester United that he donned, he swallowed his pride and issued a humbling apology.

Jurgen Klopp did his all to ensure Sadio Mane signed for Liverpool and not Manchester United



HAVE YOUR SAY! Should Liverpool have done more to keep Mane? Let us know in the comments

“I have to say I was really close to going to Manchester United,” Mane admitted in an interview with the Telegraph. “I had the contract there. I had it all agreed. It was all ready.”

That was when Klopp launched the charm offensive to convince his man – changing the recent landscape of football in the process – by saying sorry for not signing when he was in charge at Borussia Dortmund.

“I still remember the first time I got the call from Klopp,” Mane 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’.

Mane leaves Liverpool a modern-day Anfield legend


John Powell)

“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.” And just like Klopp delivered on his promise of a big project, Mane stuck to his word on playing everywhere, thriving in multiple roles during his stay on Merseyside.

While the Reds boss will no doubt be frustrated that one of his greatest ever signings is moving on to pastures new, deep down he knows that without that late-night phone call, his entire project could have gone in a completely different direction.

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