'I had it all agreed' Sadio Mane reveals that he nearly signed for Manchester United before Liverpool switch

Liverpool forward Sadio Mane has revealed that he 'was really close' to joining Manchester United before he eventually opted for Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool side in an interview given to Telegraph sport.

The Senegalese star joined Liverpool from Southampton in the summer of 2016, and netted on his debut against Arsenal to begin his journey in Liverpool Red.

He has since gone to win on every trophy available to him at least once, scoring 120 times in 268 appearances for Jurgen Klopp. He has also lifted the Africa Cup of Nations courtesy of a penalty shoot-out win over Egypt earlier in 2022.

But it all could have been so different.

“I have to say, I was really close to going to Manchester United” the 30-year-old told the Telegraph. 'I had the contract there. I had it all agreed.

It was all ready, but instead I thought, ‘No, I want to go to Liverpool’. I was convinced to go with Klopp’s project. I still remember the first time I got the call from Klopp', Mane reveals.

'We have a big project at Liverpool and I want you to be part of it’, the Liverpool boss is alleged to have said. '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.'

Contrasting fortunes for teams in red

In hindsight, of course, it is easy to wonder what could have been had Mane joined Manchester United rather than Liverpool. While the Reds have endured success after success, the Red Devils have not won a trophy since 2017, and are currently in all sorts of trouble, pinning the hopes of a rebuild on incoming boss Erik ten Hag.

Meanwhile, Mane is in a Champions League final, where he will bid to be the deciding factor, and in turn etch himself further into the Liverpool history books.

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Ben Browning

Ben Browning

Football writer and analyst. Long-time writer of all things Arsenal and avid watcher of European football. Happy to discuss all things football over on Twitter.

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