Bayern Munich chief reveals why Sadio Mane really left Liverpool
Bayern Munich sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic has explained why former Liverpool striker Sadio Mane left the club this summer after six years at Anfield.
The Senegal international became part of Liverpool folklore winning six trophies under Jurgen Klopp, and has often been credited as the early catalyst who transformed the Reds from mediocre into ‘monsters of mentality’.
He arrived in 2016 from Southampton for a fee of £34million and went on to score 120 goals in 269 games for the Reds, including 23 in his final season, where he moved into a more central role.
Mane wanted a new challenge and he was sold to the German champions in the summer, ending his successful stint at Anfield – but there was no distaste between the parties as Mane left with Klopp’s best wishes and his team.
Salihamidzic, who was crucial in securing Mane’s signature, told The Times why Bavaria was the perfect destination for a player in Mane’s situation.
“Someone like Sadio looks at clubs and thinks, ‘I had six amazing years at Liverpool, what’s next?’
“He will choose his next move carefully. I know why he chose us, he said it: because he feels there is so much quality and mentality, with him being a leader in that regard that fits in perfectly.
“It was obvious that Lewy [Robert Lewandowski] was thinking of a move, but without having the best replacements available, we would not have accepted [to let him go].
“But we had a lot of options, we tried to make one, and that allowed us to let him go. The fact that it was Sadio, it couldn’t have worked better for us.
He hasn’t started badly either, leading Bayern’s goalscoring charts with five goals so far this season. They have drawn their last three Bundesliga games, however, and will look to Mane to rectify their usual standard.
The striker might not replicate Lewandowski’s numbers but he will likely become a hit at the Allianz Arena.