Liverpool winger Sadio Mane says he was never concerned about being snubbed by Jurgen Klopp and Borussia Dortmund in 2014, a failed deal which the German admitted he felt like punching himself over.
The Senegalese international instead made the move to Southampton from Red Bull Salzburg before finally joining Klopp at Liverpool in the summer of 2016.
So far, Sadio Mane has been perhaps the best bit of business this season, scoring 12 league goals and giving the Reds an extra attacking dimension.
Speaking to Liverpool’s official website, the 24-year-old discussed his first meeting with Klopp.
“I remember everything about it because it was a meeting to talk about football and how he wanted to play and how he wanted me to be part of his team.
“I think it’s part of football that these things can happen. After that I never stopped working like I did before. I gave my best all the time and finally, we work together.
“We didn’t speak about what happened before because we know it’s part of football and it can happen. It wasn’t his fault or my fault or the clubs’ fault.
“When he called me to come here, it was the right time, the right coach and the right time to come to Liverpool. Now I’m here I’m very happy to be part of this amazing club.
“The next thing now is to play in the Champions League with Liverpool and win trophies with Senegal, and why not win many, many trophies with my club, as well?”
It may have been in the making for some years – Klopp was actually tracking Mane’s progress since the 2012 Olympics – but now, the dynamic duo are a match made in heaven and Liverpool are reaping the benefits.