'The wrong team wanted me!' - Mane reflects on Man Utd snub before fulfilling Liverpool dream

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Sadio Mane Liverpool 2018-19
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Now starring at Anfield, the Senegal international has admitted to having spoken to Louis van Gaal about a possible switch to Old Trafford in 2016

Sadio Mane admits he “couldn’t believe it” when the “wrong team” came after him in 2016, with Manchester United snubbed as he held out for a move to Liverpool.

The 26-year-old has admitted in the past to having rejected the chance to head for Old Trafford as he considered a switch away from Southampton after two productive seasons in England.

He has now revealed that he went as far as holding talks with then United manager Louis van Gaal, with the Dutchman keen to do a deal as he prepared to leave the Red Devils and make way for Jose Mourinho.

Mane was never keen on linking up with the Red Devils, though, with it always his intention to wait on Liverpool to make what was to become a £34 million ($44m) approach for his services.

The Senegal international told Super Sport on an interesting transfer window which delivered an intense battle for his signature: "I couldn't believe it.

"Some teams wanted me – Manchester (United), the wrong team wanted me.

"Of course, I spoke with Van Gaal, and they even made an offer. But for me it was not the right club, it was not the right moment. To feel this - the right moment, the right coach, the right club."

Mane eventually got the chance to head for Anfield, allowing him to join an exciting project being pieced together by Jurgen Klopp.

He could, however, have linked up with the German tactician a couple of years earlier, with Borussia Dortmund having made an attempt to lure him away from Red Bull Salzburg in 2014.

Sadio Mane Jurgen Klopp Liverpool

Mane added: "Yes, I met him [Klopp], I spoke with him about it.

"Salzburg were asking for 25 million [euros], that was too expensive at that time, because I was playing in the Austrian league, no disrespect.

"I was not that good for 25 million and that's why I didn't go there."

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Mane remains convinced that he has taken the best career path, with Liverpool considered to be the perfect place for him as he continues to star alongside the likes of Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino.

A man who has already netted three times this season told Premier League productions: "Liverpool is different to many clubs I know and I have been.

"It's like family, the people are so close and especially the players. It's something that makes us stronger because you can also see on the pitch how close we are, so I think it's also important for teams to have this kind of friendship in and out of the pitch as well."