Liverpool lost Sadio Mane, one of the most successful players in their recent history, to Bayern Munich earlier this summer, but Jurgen Klopp says he’s “fine with the situation.”
After six brilliant years at Anfield, the Senegalese chose to pursue a new challenge in the Bundesliga, after winning every possible major trophy with the Reds.
Liverpool insisted on lining up a replacement before sanctioning his departure, with Darwin Nunez recruited from Benfica, in a deal that could end up being worth a club-record £85 million.
Despite being fully aware of the loss Mane will be on the pitch, Klopp has revealed why the forward still leaves with his blessing.
The Liverpool boss has praised the way in which the deal was done and says the transfer should be “an example” for the way negotiations can be held in the future.
He also believes Mane, 30, has the potential to continue his career right up until the end of his thirties, such is the “absolutely crazy” physical shape he is in.
Klopp er fornøyd med hvordan Mané-overgangen ble løst, men kommer til å savne stjernespilleren. (@JanAageFjortoft) pic.twitter.com/P3kWJjFskb
– Viaplay Football (@ViaplayFotball) July 25, 2022
“Sadio told me, and the agent told me that he was looking for a new challenge,” Klopp explained to Viaplay Football.
“If that happens early enough, like it did in this case, if that happens in the right way, that the player is working and the new club where they want to go is ready for negotiations, then it should be like it was now.
“Then you say “thank you” with the biggest respect ever. I couldn’t have more respect for Sadio, what a player he is.
“I wish him the best. He will play for ages, until 38 or 39 with his body – it’s absolutely crazy.
Speculation that Mane was seeking a new challenge began towards the end of the previous campaign, and it soon became clear that Bayern Munich was his destination of choice.
After weeks of negotiations, the deal was completed a month ago, and it’s now emerged that Mane told Liverpool about his plans to move on last summer.
The friendly negotiations have clearly left Klopp satisfied, with the Liverpool boss keen to see more deals completed in a similar fashion in the future.
“Bayern got a really good player but we had him for six years so that’s fine and it all showed that these kind of transfers can work like this as well,” he continued.
“I want to use it in the future as an example for anything else – it’s completely normal that sometimes in relationships there are changes needed.
“In this case Sadio wanted it and we reacted and now we both try to make the best of it. I’m really fine with this situation, even when we will miss him from a sports point of view and as a person, I’m fine because that’s how life is.”