Sunday 27 May 2018

'Anfield was the correct choice' - Mane

£30m Liverpool striker is glad he snubbed United for Klopp's revolution

Sadio Mane
Sadio Mane

Liverpool forward Sadio Mane insists he is not concerned about the pressure of his £30million fee as he feels comfortable at the club having turned down a move to Manchester United.

The Senegal international became the Reds' third most expensive signing behind Andy Carroll (£35million) and Christian Benteke (£32.5million) when he joined from Southampton a month ago.

Mane has already impressed in the club's domestic friendlies.

And while the real competitive action does not begin for a few more weeks the 24-year-old feels he is coping well with the move despite the expectations after such a large transfer.

"It's football isn't it? That's the game these days," he said.

Jurgen Klopp
Jurgen Klopp

"The thing for me is not to focus on the fee. I just have to focus on what I can do in the games and in training."

Mane is enjoying working with manager Jurgen Klopp instead of, potentially, Jose Mourinho.

Asked about interest from Old Trafford when he was leaving Southampton Mane added: "Yes, it was true.

"There was interest from a lot of clubs, not just Manchester United, but as soon as I knew Liverpool were interested I just felt it was the right club with the right coach.

"It was right for me to come here. As soon as I was told of the possibility to come here and I knew the manager wanted me I said yes.

"It was the right move. I recognise the size of the club and to progress to another level as a player this was the club and the moment for me. It was a step I needed to make."

Liverpool have travelled from their Palo Alto training base to Pasedena for their game against their Premier League rivals.

However, strikers Benteke and Divock Origi have remained at the club's Stanford University base in order to continue their training.

The pair only joined the group this week having had extended leave following their involvement in Euro 2016 and so have stayed behind to undertake extra sessions in order for them to catch up with the rest.

Benteke has been the subject of one failed bid of £25million from Crystal Palace but the London club are believed to retain an interest in the 25-year-old, although Liverpool are looking to recoup most of the fee they paid to Aston Villa only 12 months ago.

Meanwhile, Brad Smith has completed his move from Liverpool to Bournemouth.

The left-back will join Eddie Howe's side for an undisclosed fee, although it is understood it could rise to £6m.

The 22-year-old Australian international had left the Reds' training camp in California on Monday night to finalise personal terms with the Cherries.

He is the second Liverpool player to join Bournemouth this summer after the £15m switch of Jordon Ibe.

Smith said: "I know Jordon (Ibe) well. We've played many years together and it'll be good to play together again."

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