Liverpool forward Sadio Mane has revealed that he snubbed a move to Manchester United under Louis van Gaal as he was happy at Southampton and believed that the time was not right for him to make the move to a big club. The Senegalese international moved to Anfield this summer and has set the ground alight with his pace and dexterity on the ball, scoring thrice in the opening seven games of the season.
Liverpool will now face United in what will arguably be Klopp’s biggest test since taking over at Anfield, with the Reds being billed as proper challengers for the title. A win for Klopp will take the Reds joint top with Arsenal and Manchester City, with the leaders dropping points against Everton at home.
“In honesty, there were some clubs interested at that time but I never made any choices then,” he says. “I did not say I thought of any club and I wanted to play there. That kind of interest gave me a lot confidence on the pitch and made me believe in myself, but I knew this was because of my hard work and I was in a good way,” Mane said, as quoted by the Telegraph, when asked about United’s interest.
“It was only when Liverpool came in [last summer] that I never had a second thought and knew I wanted to join. It was different because then was the right moment for me. I finally came to Liverpool and I was happy with that, and now I’m happy I am playing against Manchester United.”
However, Mane is confident that they can get the better of United in front of a newly furnished Anfield stadium given the form they are in and the positivity oozing from the team. He went on to add that it is by far the biggest game of his career thus far, where he will be looking to put in a mark, like he did against Arsenal while at Southampton.
“We are going to beat Manchester United,” he added. “Maybe this will be the biggest game I have played in. My games for Senegal will have been the biggest so far. For my club, I think my biggest was my debut for Southampton against Arsenal. We won and I scored. I was under big pressure so for me that was amazing. Now this will be one of the most important. Everyone would like to score in a game like this.
“It’s normal the fans and people will think this is a particular type of game. We know it’s one of the big games of the season. It might be like El Clásico but, really, when the games starts and you get on to the pitch, then you do have to treat it more like a normal game.”
Mane has scored three times this season to help repay part of the £32m Liverpool paid in the summer.