Liverpool superstar Sadio Mane revealed that Manchester United held talks with him in 2016 before rejecting the chance to move to Old Trafford.
As reported by The Sun, Sadio Mane has revealed that Manchester United held a serious interest in him before he chose to join Liverpool in the summer of 2016. The Senegalese winger has iterated that he turned down the chance to sign for the Reds’ bitter rivals as he believe they were the “wrong team” for him.
Mane has been a resounding hit since joining Liverpool from Southampton in the summer of 2016. In fact, the player had become such a pivotal figure for the Reds in the 2016-17 season that Jurgen Klopp’s side ended up looking a bit one-dimensional in his absence.
The arrival of Mohamed Salah has reduced the dependency on him. But, the Senegalese continues to remain an important player for Liverpool. It could all have turned out completely differently though, had then-Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal got his way two years ago.
Manchester United held serious interest in the 26-year-old, with van Gaal personally holding talks with him over a possible move before he parted ways with the club. But, Mane has revealed that he rejected the Red Devils in favour of Liverpool as he felt the Merseyside club were the “right team” for him.
“Some teams wanted me—Manchester (United), the wrong team wanted me. Of course, I spoke with Van Gaal, and they even made an offer. But for me it was not the right club, it was not the right moment. To feel this—the right moment, the right coach, the right club.”
Rejection from Mane would have been a huge blow to Manchester United and Jose Mourinho, who has been eager to sign a right-winger for two successive summer transfer windows now. While Mane now operates from the left flank for Liverpool, he did most of his damage from the opposite wing in his first campaign for the Reds.
Thus, it goes without saying that Mane could potentially have been a long-term solution on the right flank for Manchester United. Instead, Mourinho has had to scour for alternatives to the Liverpool star, with the likes of Ivan Perisic, Ante Rebic and Willian among those who were linked this summer.
Liverpool and Mane though, will unlikely have any regrets over the move that was completed in the summer of 2016 as they look to make a charge for the Premier League title. Manchester United, on the other hand, can only wonder what could have been had they managed to sign the prolific Senegalese instead.