Wednesday Apr 08, 2020. 14:01
Liverpool head coach Jurgen Klopp has revealed that he came close to signing Sadio Mane for Borussia Dortmund.
Klopp was on the verge of completing a deal for the Senegal international while still in charge of the German Bundesliga club, but ultimately decided against doing so because of Mane’s appearance.
The Senegal international subsequently joined Southampton from RB Salzburg instead and after making a name for himself at St. Mary’s, Klopp came knocking.
Mane linked up with Klopp at Anfield in 2016 and has progressed Into becoming one of the world’s best footballers.
The current African Footballer of the Year has scored 77 goals in 161 appearances for Liverpool and at just 27 years of age, he still has his best years ahead of him.
“I remember my first encounter with Sadio. It was in Dortmund. There was a really young guy sitting there. His baseball cap was askew, the blond streak he still has today,” Klopp said in a new documentary on Mane.
“He looked like a rapper just starting out. I thought: ‘I don’t have time for this’. Our team back then really wasn’t bad. I needed someone who could handle not being a starter at the very beginning, someone I could develop.
“I’d say I have a pretty good feeling for people, but was I wrong! I further followed his career and continued success at Salzburg. In Southampton he just dominated.”
Having closely followed his progress at Southampton, it was clear that Klopp had changed his mind on the forward and after scoring on his Premier League debut for the Reds, Mane made an immediate impact.
“It was great,” Klopp added. “Sadio wanted to work with me as much as I did with him so it was a win-win situation.”