Mane was ‘thinking about Manchester United’ before Liverpool move

The Senegal winger had the Theatre of Dreams on his mind before a move to Anfield originated

Manchester United were the club on Sadio Mane’s mind before the winger made the move to Liverpool.

The Senegal international joined the Reds in 2016 for a transfer fee of £30 million ($37m) after two successful campaigns with Southampton.

But before moving to Anfield, Mane had been subject to significant interest from the Red Devils, with the now 27-year-old admitting he thought about a transfer to Old Trafford.

“We were thinking most about Manchester United,” Mane told The Times.

“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 [Jurgen Klopp] did and was not thinking I was a rapper.”

The ‘rapper’ comment made by Mane is referring to a recent interview by Liverpool coach Klopp, who suggested the winger looked like a rapper when he joined the club.

Mane has gone on to win the Champions League with the Reds, and has scored an impressive 77 goals in 161 appearances across all competitions.

He also went on to win the Premier League’s golden boot last season, with his 22 goals putting him alongside Liverpool team-mate Mohamed Salah and Arsenal ace Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Mane has spoken previously at how close he was to joining Louis van Gaal’s Man Utd side during his final season with the Saints.

“I was really, really close because I even met up with them,” Mane told the Mirror last year

“So I was coming, I was there and I spoke with the boss who was there before [Van Gaal]. 

“They made an offer, but in the same week, Klopp called me.

“He said: ‘I think it’s the right club. The right coach for you, and I think it’s better that you go to Liverpool’.

“For me I think it was the right time as well. I said, ‘I am going to Liverpool’.”

Mane’s Liverpool currently sit top of the Premier League table from when the season was halted due to coronavirus – 25 points clear of Manchester City and needing six points minimum to clinch the title.