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Dublin: 5 °C Thursday 24 January, 2019

'One of my biggest mistakes ever': Klopp regrets missing out on Mane while at Dortmund

The German coach had the chance to snap up the Senegalese star during his time at Borussia Dortmund.

Jurgen Klopp and Sadio Mane.
Jurgen Klopp and Sadio Mane.

JURGEN KLOPP CONSIDERS missing out on Sadio Mane during his time in charge of Borussia Dortmund to be “one of my biggest mistakes ever”, but the German has been able to right those wrongs at Liverpool.

Back in 2014, a Senegalese star was preparing to part company with Red Bull Salzburg. A switch to the Bundesliga was mooted, with Klopp having monitored a talented forward since seeing him catch the eye at the 2012 Olympics.

Talks were held, but Mane slipped the net and ended up joining Southampton in an £11.8 million deal.

Brighton and Hove Albion v Liverpool - Premier League - AMEX Stadium Klopp pictured during Liverpool's win away to Brighton on Saturday. Source: Mark Kerton

“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 of that failed transfer saga. “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.”

Klopp returned for Mane during the first summer transfer window of his reign at Liverpool.

A £34 million agreement was reached with Southampton in 2016, with that deal making the 26-year-old the most expensive African player in history at the time.

Arsenal v Liverpool - Premier League - Emirates Stadium Mane has scored 42 goals in 100 appearances for the Reds. Source: Nick Potts

A considerable show of faith from those at Anfield has been richly rewarded, with Mane having become a key figure for the Reds.

He netted 13 times in his debut campaign, before plundering 20 efforts last term as part of a fearsome attacking unit which sees him work in partnership with Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah.

“The time I have spent with Sadio Mane has been fantastic,” Klopp added. I love the boy — he’s an outstanding player.”

Mane has recorded another nine goals this season, with that contribution helping Liverpool to the top of the Premier League table and the last 16 of the Champions League.

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