Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has revealed that he was seriously considering making a move for Senegal international Sadio Mane when he was managing Borussia Dortmund.
The 24-year-old was contracted to Red Bull Salzburg at the time, but ultimately opted to make the move to the Premier League, joining Southampton in a reported £11.8 million deal.
The German tactician admits he made an error in passing up the opportunity to challenge the Saints for Mane's signature, and is delighted to have been able to sign the speedy forward this season.
Mane has hit the ground running at Anfield, netting seven goals in his first 15 league appearances to help the Reds emerge as one of the season's early title contenders.
When asked why he felt Mane had made such a noticeable impact on Merseyside, Klopp told reporters: "The quality of the player, the character of the team.
"They had really open arms for him from the first second they heard we were signing Sadio Mane. They were like 'Oh! Okay!' That helps.
"They were brilliant with him. The club, the atmosphere… That stuff helps, and a little bit of luck.
"It worked out that he scored in his first game with a goal like this [against Arsenal]. Come on! In a game like this, it makes everything easier.
"Then there is his attitude. He is a really hard working boy. He is really open for advice. He wants each kind of improvement. He wants to do different things. He is good. He's really good.
"The best news for me was that I could sign him. It was a mistake not to get him for Dortmund. The fact that I could get him a second time was good, really good."
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