Sadio Mane has explained why he rejected overtures from Manchester United to join Liverpool.
Mane moved to Liverpool for £34m earlier this summer, but the Reds had to fight off competition for the Southampton forward.
The Senegalese impressed over two seasons at St Mary’s after joining from Red Bull Salzburg for £11.8m in 2014, and became the most expensive player signed by a Premier League club this summer upon his switch to Anfield.
Speaking to the Liverpool Echo, the 24-year-old has revealed that United were also in for his signature, as well as other unnamed clubs.
“Yes, it was true,” Mane said, when asked of the United rumours. “There was interest from a lot of clubs, not just Manchester United, but as soon as I knew Liverpool were interested I just felt it was the right club with the right coach. It was right for me to come here.
“Liverpool are a massive club with a big history that has won many trophies over the years and as soon as I was told of the possibility to come here and I knew the manager wanted me I said yes.
“It was the right move. I recognise the size of the club and to progress to another level as a player this was the club and the moment for me. It was a step I needed to make.”
On the weight of expectation behind such a large fee, he added: “It’s football isn’t it? That’s the game these days.
“The thing for me is not to focus on the fee. I just have to focus on what I can do in the games and in training.
“I want to take the club as far as I can.”