Liverpool midfielder Fabinho has revealed that he tried and failed to persuade Sadio Mane not to seal a transfer away from the club this summer.
The Brazil international was keen for Mane to stay at Anfield, but he says that by the time he spoke to him about it, the Senegal international already seemed to have made up his mind about moving to Bayern Munich.
Mane was a star player for Liverpool for many years and should be a fine signing for Bayern, who needed to strengthen up front this summer as Robert Lewandowski pushed for a move to Barcelona.
It’s understandable that Fabinho was worried about losing Mane, though Reds fans can take some comfort from the fact that they have brought in Darwin Nunez to replace him, with the young Uruguay international looking an exciting addition to the squad.
Fabinho’s quotes, however, show just how popular Mane was in this LFC squad, and give an idea of how hard it will be to truly fill the gap he’s leaving.
“At the end of the season, I spoke a lot with Sadio. He told me about the situation that he could leave,” Fabinho told The Athletic.
“I was always saying to him, ‘Come on Sadio, stay here. You can win the Premier League and the Champions League right here, don’t leave’. But I think he had already made his mind up. We had to respect that.
“Sadio had a really good story in a Liverpool shirt. He played for six years here and during that time he won everything you can win and he decided that he wanted a new challenge. That’s OK.
“After the parade in Liverpool, everyone said goodbye to him. We knew there was a good chance he would be leaving. I always kept some hope that he would still stay but then it was all confirmed.
“Losing Sadio is a big loss. He was one of our best players but it’s something that we can’t change. We have to deal with it. Now other players have to step up and take on greater responsibility.”