Sadio Mane has been one of the best players in the world since joining Liverpool in 2016. But almost everything would have turned out differently.

Liverpool attacking star Sadio Mane has revealed he almost ended up at great rivals Manchester United before joining the Reds. Everything had already been negotiated with the Red Devils in 2016. But then Jürgen Klopp intervened.

“I had the contract. Everything was settled, everything was ready. But then I thought, no, I want to go to Liverpool. I wanted to be part of Klopp’s project,” Mane told the Telegraph. There was a history between the two when Klopp was still a coach at Borussia Dortmund. Even then he wanted to have Mane, but a transfer did not materialize.

Liverpool FC: Sadio Mane awarded Jürgen Klopp

Klopp recalled that failed transfer when he called Mane in 2016. “I had just watched an action film. He said: ‘Sadio, listen, I want to explain to you what happened in Dortmund’,” Mane described the phone call. “I forgave him. And then he said: ‘Now I want you in Liverpool.’ And I said, ‘Okay, let’s leave Dortmund behind and focus on the future,'” Mane continued.

There was only a brief disagreement on the question of the favorite position. Because Mane, who was playing on both right and left flank at Southampton at the time, named left flank as his favorite position, which briefly startled Klopp. “He then said: ‘But Coutinho is playing on the left!’ Then I said, no problem, I’ll play on the right. I’ve seen myself in all positions,” Mane explained.

Under Klopp, Mane finally developed into one of the best offensive players in the world, after the transfer of Mohamed Salah in 2017 and the departure of Philippe Coutinho to FC Barcelona six months later, Mane was then allowed to play permanently on the left side.

Ahead of Saturday’s Champions League final, Mane has made 268 appearances for Liverpool, scoring 120 goals and providing 48 assists. His contract expires in 2023, the future of the 30-year-old Senegalese is open. FC Bayern is traded as a possible new club.