Liverpool forward Sadio Mane has dropped a transfer bombshell that will have raised plenty of eyebrows in the north west.
Speculation over Mane’s future continues to swirl as Manchester United – and plenty of other Premier League sides for that matter – pray that his potential departure could offer them some respite over the next few years. A season of misery for United fans could be compounded even further as Liverpool prepare to take on Real Madrid in the Champions League final on Saturday night.
While the sight of their bitter rivals challenging for major honors is a bitter pill to swallow for United fans, Jurgen Klopp’s glittering reign on Merseyside can at least offer United a degree of hope moving forward.
READ MORE: Liverpool FC star Sadio Mane shares Manchester United transfer admission
Having registered an interest in Mane during his time as Borussia Dortmund manager, Klopp finally got his man in 2016 and he did so courtesy of an 11th-hour intervention. Until then, according to the man himself, Mane was destined for a move to Old Trafford.
Klopp contacted Mane directly and managed to convince him of the Liverpool project. Ten Hag must follow suit with Frenkie de Jong and others as he continues to settle in at the club.
During an in-depth interview with former Liverpool man Jamie Carragher before the big game on Saturday, Mane recalled the first telephone call he had with Klopp and that he had interrupted him while watching an action movie – if horror movies were more to his taste then perhaps he would have favored a move to United.
Klopp proved if you can convince a player that a team with such a rich history can return to their former glories, a few years of building and pain can be worth it in the long run. United find themselves in a similar position to where Liverpool were back in 2016, although – and this may seem difficult to believe – United arguably have a head start on their Merseyside rivals.
Liverpool were in the midst of a wait that would stretch to 30 years for the top-flight crown when Klopp arrived. United are nearing 10 years without league success and five seasons have passed since they picked up silverware of any description. There are plenty of parallels but United have at least tasted league success this century!
Klopp sold Mane the dream when Liverpool were right at the start of their own rebuild. Not being able to offer Champions League football is hardly ideal, but United are still a monster of a club and it’s Ten Hag’s responsibility to convince his targets that the chance to take this great club back to where they belong is worth the gamble.
While Ten Hag can’t work alone in providing the catalyst for good times to return, he will undoubtedly have a better say in how the next few years pan out. Liverpool wouldn’t be where they are now without Klopp and there’s every chance we could be saying the same thing about United and Ten Hag in a few years’ time.
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George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.