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Thursday 27 October 2016

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp delighted to sign Sadio Mane after four-year chase

Published 28/06/2016 | 12:06

Sadio Mane has completed his £30million move to Liverpool
Sadio Mane has completed his £30million move to Liverpool

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp tracked Sadio Mane for four years before finally managing to sign him.

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The 24-year-old became Liverpool's third most expensive player when he completed a £30million move from Southampton.

Klopp is delighted to have captured the Senegal international, who Press Association Sport understands has signed a five-year contract.

"I have followed Sadio for a lot of years since his impressive performances in the Olympics in 2012, and then watched his development in Austria and in his time at Southampton," the Reds boss told

"Since I came here I have spoken to the staff a lot about him and have always felt he could be a very good signing for us.

"He has a lot of quality, works hard and has a very good goalscoring record.

"When I spoke to him I could tell that he was passionate about joining the club and playing for our fantastic fans.

"I think they will be just as excited about seeing him put on a Liverpool shirt as I am.

"It is great that we have managed to sign him so he can work with us from the first day of pre-season."

Klopp was a major influence on persuading Mane to leave the Saints, for whom he scored 25 goals in 75 appearances.

The forward admits he did not have to think twice when Klopp asked him to join.

"I spoke with him and I think he played a big role in me coming to Liverpool and I want to thank him for all the confidence," the striker, who will wear the number 19 shirt, told LFCTV.

"He said he wanted me to come and I didn't try to ask myself questions as I was convinced Liverpool was the right club for me.

"It is the right club, right coach and right moment to change.

"But I want to thank Southampton because they were amazing and if I am here today I can say it is because of Southampton.

"I learned a lot and I worked with some nice people."

There has been some dispute between the clubs over Mane's fee, with Southampton saying privately it is £34m rising to £36m with add-ons but sources at Anfield have rejected those claims.

Irrespective of the price tag, which puts the Senegal international behind only Andy Carroll (£35m) and Christian Benteke (£32.5m) in terms of the club's record signings, Mane is raring to go.

"I am happy because it is not easy if you start after (pre-season has started)," added the forward.

"I am very happy to sign for one of the biggest clubs in Europe. It's a club that has won a lot of trophies and has a big history.

"I remember when I was younger I watched Liverpool v AC Milan (in the 2005 Champions League final): it was amazing and I was happy for Liverpool.

"It was my dream to play at a big club and the dream has come true.

"I am excited to play at Anfield in front of the amazing fans and I am looking forward to a great season together as a club.

"I want the fans to be confident and I think this season will be special."

Mane is Klopp's fourth signing after centre-back Joel Matip, midfielder Marko Grujic and goalkeeper Loris Karius.

He will join his new team-mates for the start of pre-season this weekend when the players who have not been involved in the European Championships are due to return ahead of their first friendly the following Friday at neighbours Tranmere.

Press Association

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