Liverpool ace Sadio Mane has revealed he had the chance to join Manchester United in 2015 but opted for their north west neighbours 12 months later - due to boss Jurgen Klopp's style of play.
During an interview with The Telegraph ahead of the Reds' trip to Old Trafford on Saturday, the 25-year-old discussed the struggles he has faced this season, despite enjoying a more fruitful campaign than last.
Sadio Mane 2016-17 ⚽️ 13— The Anfield Wrap (@TheAnfieldWrap) March 3, 2018
Sadio Mane 2017-18 ⚽️ 14
Alright for *poor* season 路♂️ pic.twitter.com/T4iveZJsVm
Almost a year ago the Senegal international was named the Merseysiders' Player of the Year; however, had
"I know Louis van Gaal liked me”, he said. "But at the time he was interested, Southampton wanted a lot of money.
"I spoke with Southampton, and they did not want to sell at that time. But when Liverpool came for me, it was more interesting. I told my agent it was Liverpool I would join.
"I knew Klopp’s system was always attacking from when he was at Dortmund. He could have changed it for a different league, but for me, it was the right coach and right club."
Mane returns to Manchester this weekend for the first time since September; where his 37th-minute red card catalysed a 5-0 humbling at the hands of Pep Guardiola's Manchester City.
Following the incident, and his subsequent three-match ban, the winger was almost unrecognisable from the man who picked up Liverpool's most highly acclaimed annual award months prior, and he admitted that this term has involved some tough spells.
Sadio Mane copying Bobby Firmino's celebration from the previous game pic.twitter.com/CxOZDGBGuT— LFC News (@LFCTransferNRS) March 3, 2018
"Honestly, this has not been an easy season for me", he added. “There were some injuries and the red card (versus Manchester City).
"I was not happy that day because we lost 5-0 and if it had been 11 v 11 it would not be 5-0. It was possible for us to get a good result, but everything in the game changed and that was the problem.
"It is normal I felt a little bit disappointed about it. Two games later I was injured, and then I missed many games. That is not easy for any player. But, really, what I do not like is to find an excuse. Injury can happen, and you just have to rediscover form.
"All the time I want to do better, but in my head, I was just thinking, ‘this is football. It can happen’. All I could do was keep trying."