Jürgen Klopp has revealed that one of the biggest regrets of his managerial career was not signing Sadio Mané when he had the chance to when he was at Borussia Dortmund.
Back in 2014 Klopp held talks with the now 26-year-old about him making the switch to the Bundesliga club but he wasn’t convinced that that the Senegalese winger could offer anything that he didn’t already have. Despite Mané putting in some decent performances at Red Bull Salzburg and the fact that Klopp had been monitoring him closely for 2 years, a decision was made to pull the plug on a transfer.
Commenting on the decision, Klopp said: “The time I have spent with Sadio Mane [at Liverpool] has been fantastic. I love the boy! He’s an outstanding player.
“I have made a few mistakes in my life and one of my biggest mistakes ever was not taking Sadio when I was at Dortmund.
“We were together in an office and I spoke to him. Afterwards I wasn’t sure but that was really my fault.
“He’s an outstanding boy and life gave me a second chance to work with him and hopefully we can both use it.”
It’s not the first time that the boss has spoken at his regret at passing on Mané. Towards the end of last year, Klopp explained how easy it was for him to proceed with a deal when Mané became available in 2016.
The Liverpool manager confessed: “With Sadio it was pretty simple because I made the mistake at Dortmund where I didn’t take him. We talked. I think everyone knows we met each other and by the end I didn’t feel this.
“Around about three months later I would have punched myself so I knew already that the next chance I had I would take it. So it was not difficult to take this decision, it was very easy.
“When the club came and when Michael Edwards said we have an opportunity. No talks were necessary any more. It was a case of ‘let’s do it’.
“We spoke and I liked the player. But at Dortmund in that position I was happy and we could only get one, not two or three, so it needed to be the right, exact fit in that moment.
“I’m not a genius so I couldn’t exactly imagine the Austrian League where he was. What does it mean? What does it mean for the football? That’s it. I have made more mistakes in my life like this actually.
“I think he would have been more expensive if we had taken him to Dortmund and then he had been sold to Liverpool, so all good for Liverpool!
“My first Liverpool decision, the more I think about it, nice!”