Sadio Mane's advisor Bacary Cisse has revealed Argentina and PSG superstar Lionel Messi wanted to play alongside the Senegal international at Barcelona.
The Lion of Teranga recently ended his successful six-year stay at Liverpool by sealing a move to Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich. The 30-year-old signed a deal that will see him stay with the Bavarians until 2025.
However, it has now emerged that the versatile attacker could have left the Merseyside-based charges earlier as confirmed by his representative.
"Last year, he could have done it with FC Barcelona too," Cisse told RMC on the After Foot Show.
"It was Lionel Messi who wanted Sadio Mane, when it was a question of him extending to Barca. Before [eventually] going to Paris Saint-Germain, he had given two names; Sadio Mane and an Argentine central defender.
"It was in June when they were in the middle of the Copa America."
The Spanish heavyweights had to let Messi leave owing to their financial struggles.
In a recent interview, Cisse revealed why Mane opted to join the Bavarians despite several offers from different teams.
"He [Mane] himself was very clear during [his] press conference [as a Bayern player]. This transfer came at the right time and he chose the right club," Cisse stated.
"Everyone knows Sadio has done the rounds with Liverpool. He stayed there for six years and won all possible titles with this club, including the title of top scorer [of the Premier League in 2019].
"Sportingly, we had to look for a challenge elsewhere, and the Bayern Munich project was attractive, we couldn't spit on it."
Cisse refuted claims Mane left the Reds owing to his salary.
"We did not want to communicate on this. A player like Sadio Mane cannot have such a low salary as people claim. It is not possible.
"Moreover, the figures that we see from left to right, in the media, are completely erroneous. Even when he arrived from Southampton, his salary was still much higher than reported in the press."
Mane might make his competitive debut for the Bavarians on July 30 against RB Leipzig in the Bundesliga Super Cup.