Liverpool forward Sadio Mane claims he rejected a transfer to rivals Manchester United in order to make his move to Anfield.
The Senegal international joined Liverpool from Southampton in 2016 for a fee of around £34million and has been an outstanding player on Merseyside.
Louis van Gaal had been interested in signing Mane in 2015 and the former Red Bull Sazlburg forward wanted to move to Old Trafford.
However, Southampton refused to listen to any offer and told Sadio Mane to stay at the club for a further campaign at the club.
The Saints allowed Mane to move the following summer window and he claims he held talks with United before being persuaded by Jurgen Klopp to join Liverpool later.
‘Yes, I was really, really close because I even met up with them. So I was coming, I was there and I spoke with the boss who was there before (Van Gaal),’ Mane told the Mirror.
‘They made an offer, but in the same week, Klopp called me. He said: “I think it’s the right club. The right coach for me, and I think it’s better that I go to Liverpool’. For me I think it was the right time as well. I said, “I am going to Liverpool.”’
Mane will be hoping it’s second time lucky for Liverpool as they prepare for a second successive appearance in the Champions League final tonight.
The forward scored in Liverpool’s 3-1 loss to Real Madrid in last year’s final in Kiev but the Reds are favourites to overcome Premier League rivals Tottenham.