Sadio Mane has claimed Jurgen Klopp wanted him to stay on at Liverpool and that his decision to join Bayern Munich left the German boss “a little bit sad.”
The 30-year-old forward left Anfield after six incredible seasons in which he won every major honour available to him while also scoring 120 goals in 269 appearances.
Mane achieved great success at Anfield due to his ability to play anywhere across the front three. His being involved in some of the Merseyside club’s biggest moments in their history ensured that the Senegalese superstar will go down as a Reds legend.
According to BBC Sport, Mane joined Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich on a three-year deal for £35 million. The player was quoted as saying “this is the right time for a new challenge”. During his unveiling, the former Southampton star was asked about Klopp’s reaction to his decision to leave, to which Mane replied (as per The Anfield Talk):
“Klopp was a little bit sad but wished me all the best. I’ll always be grateful to him. Klopp is a very good guy, he wanted me to stay but understood my situation.”
Jurgen Klopp describes Sadio Mane as “One of Liverpool’s greatest ever players”
Mane has been a key part of Klopp’s attack over the past few seasons and was instrumental in helping the Reds record their first league title victory in 30 years when they won the Premier League in 2020. Upon news of the Senegal international’s departure, Klopp told Liverpoolfc.com:
“It’s a big moment. There is no point in anyone trying to pretend otherwise. One of Liverpool’s greatest ever players is leaving and we must acknowledge how significant this is.
“He leaves with our gratitude and our love. He leaves with his status among the greats guaranteed. And, yes, he leaves in a moment where he is one of the best players in world football. But we must not dwell on what we now lose, instead celebrate what we were privileged to have.
“The goals he scored, the trophies he won; a legend, for sure, but also a modern-day Liverpool icon. Since he first stepped through the door, he made us better. If someone had told us in that moment what he would go on to contribute and achieve for this club, I’m not sure it would have been possible to comprehend in that moment. Not the scale of it at least. Sadio made it all possible.”