Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has admitted that not signing Sadio Mane for Borussia Dortmund is still one of his “biggest mistakes”.
Klopp won two Bundesliga titles and a German Cup during his seven-year stay with Dortmund but has revealed he passed up on the chance to sign Mane from RB Salzburg in 2014, following which the forward moved to Southampton.
How close was Mane to signing for Dortmund? Five key things to know…
- Sadio Mane played for RB Salzburg between 2012 and 2015, scoring 45 goals in 87 games.
- That form attracted the attention of Borussia Dortmund, then managed by Jurgen Klopp.
- The German tactician held a meeting with Mane but decided against recruiting the Senegalese.
- Mane instead moved to Southampton before finally linking up with Klopp at Liverpool in 2016.
- Klopp has admitted not signing the forward for Dortmund is one of his “biggest regrets” but “loves” working with him now.
It was only two years later, by which point Klopp had joined Liverpool, that he finally secured Mane’s signature after the Senegal international had scored 25 goals in 75 appearances for the Saints.
“I have made a few mistakes in my life and one of my biggest mistakes ever was not taking Sadio when I was at Dortmund,” Klopp said.
“We were together in an office and I spoke to him.
“Afterwards I wasn’t sure but that was really my fault!
“He’s an outstanding boy and life gave me a second chance to work with him and hopefully we can both use it.”
Mane has scored 42 goals in 100 appearances for Liverpool so far, including nine in 27 outings this term. That form has helped Liverpool return to the forefront of football, reaching last season’s Champions League final and sitting seven points clear at the top of the Premier League table so far in this campaign.
Not only has Mane’s form helped Liverpool into their imperious position, it has also justified Klopp’s regret, admitting he now loves’ the 26-year-old.
“The time I have spent with Sadio Mane has been fantastic,” he added.
“I love the boy! He’s an outstanding player.”
Centurion Sadio Mane is desperate to win something with Liverpool
Liverpool had to grind down a stubborn Brighton side to win 1-0 on Saturday, sending the Reds seven points clear at the top of the Premier League for the time being.
That victory also came in Sadio Mane’s 100th game for the Reds, during which he has scored 42 goals, and the former Metz man is delighted to have reached that particular milestone.
“Of course, it means a lot to me,” Mane said, prior to the Brighton game.
“To play at a club like Liverpool is something incredible. I always said, I am very happy to play for this club. Every single day I enjoy being here and I’m looking forward to playing my 100th game. It will mean a lot.
“Thank you to everybody – the club, the fans and the coach for the trust. I will try to do everything with my teammates to win something for this club.”
Liverpool host Crystal Palace on Saturday.