Senegalese star forward Sadio Mane has admitted he was considering a move to Manchester United before eventually joining Liverpool in 2016.
Mane has revealed he never expected to join Liverpool before manager Jurgen Klopp contacted him four years ago.
Klopp had already rejected signing Mane when he was Borussia Dortmund boss.
Mane revealed he and his agent were preparing for a move to United rather than the current Premier League leaders Liverpool.
Asked if he had been expecting the interest from Liverpool, 27-year-old Mane told the Times: “Not really.”
“We were thinking most about Manchester United.
“That was a tough time for me as I was on the bench so I was not thinking about anyone calling me, but I was pleased he [Klopp] did and was not thinking I was a rapper.”
The latter comment is a reference to Klopp’s first impression of the forward when he was Dortmund boss.
Speaking in the ‘Made In Senegal’ documentary about Mane, Klopp said: “I remember my first encounter with Sadio. It was in Dortmund.
“There was a really young guy sitting there. His baseball cap was askew, the blond streak he still has today. He looked like a rapper just starting out. I thought, ‘I don’t have time for this.’
“I’d say I have a pretty good feeling for people, but was I wrong.” Klopp added. “I followed his further career and continuing success in Salzburg. In Southampton, he just dominated.”
Since his £34 million switch to Liverpool from Southampton, Mane has won the Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup.