Jurgen Klopp laments the sale of Sadio Mane to Bayern Munich
‘Our loss is Bayern’s gain… He is one of Liverpool’s greatest players’: Jurgen Klopp laments the sale of Sadio Mane, while admitting he ‘can’t pretend ‘it’s not a huge loss as a’ true legend’ leaves for Munich in £35.1 million deal
- Jurgen Klopp has issued a gushing statement after Sadio Mane’s departure
- The Liverpool boss praised Mane’s contribution during his six years at the club
- But the German admitted he was disappointed to lose one of his best players
- Mane has signed for Bayern Munich after completing his £35.1m move
Jurgen Klopp has paid an emotional tribute to ‘one of Liverpool’s best players’ and a ‘modern icon’ of the club after Sadio Mane completed his move to Bayern Munich – but said he ‘can’t pretend’ it isn’t big loss for his team.
Klopp said the Senegalese attacker, a key part of a ruthless and devastating front three at Anfield, has helped make the club’s recent success possible.
Mane won the Champions League, Premier League, FIFA Club World Cup, UEFA Super Cup, FA Cup and Carabao Cup during his six-year stay on Merseyside.
‘It’s a big moment. There’s no point in anyone else trying to pretend,” Klopp said.
“One of the best Liverpool players ever leaves and we have to recognize how important this is.
“He leaves with our gratitude and our love. He leaves with his status among the greats guaranteed. And yes, he is leaving at a time when he is one of the best players in world football.
Jurgen Klopp pays emotional tribute to Sadio Mane after he left for Bayern Munich
Mane has put pen to paper on a three-year deal worth £250,000 a week at the Allianz Arena
The Senegalese won the Champions League 2019 with Liverpool and the Premier League a year later
“But we should not dwell on what we are losing now, but celebrate what we had.
“The goals he scored, the trophies he won; a legend, sure, but also a contemporary Liverpool icon.’
Mane has signed a three-year contract worth £250,000 a week at the Allianz Arena after opting to trade Merseyside for Munich.
The Senegalese star, who arrived from Southampton at Anfield in 2016 for £34 million, played his last game for the Reds in the Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid.
“Since he first stepped through the door, he has made us better,” added Klopp. “If someone had told us at that time what he was going to contribute and achieve for this club, I’m not sure it would have been possible to understand at that time. Not the size of it anyway. Sadio made it all possible.
“To be so good for such a prolonged period and to constantly improve season after season – no matter how high he set his own bar in the previous one – is an example to any player anywhere in the world that professionalism and dedication lead to reward .
Mane played his last game for Liverpool in the Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid
“I fully respect his decision and I’m sure our supporters do too. If you like LFC you have to like Sadio – non negotiable. It is possible to do this while accepting that our loss is Bayern’s gain.
“We wish him nothing but success in every game he plays in, unless of course it’s against us. His star will continue to rise, I have no doubt.
“I remember last season I was asked by heart in an interview or Q&A to describe Sadio in three words. I then said it was not possible to do this.
“If I were to try, I’d have to get multiple tries because there are so many ways you can describe him in three words.
‘World-class player! ‘True club legend! ‘Ideal role model! ‘The perfect teammate! Compassionate, caring person!
“But the three words most appropriate today are also the hardest to say: ‘I’ll miss you!’
Klopp’s effusive statement is a rare example of a manager praising a player who openly expressed a desire to leave.
Mane hinted ahead of the Champions League final in Paris that his future may lie outside Anfield and then confirmed his intention to leave less than 24 hours after the whistle.