Sadio Mane insisted he ‘didn’t think twice’ about joining Bayern Munich from Liverpool despite having other offers as it was the ‘right club and the right time to move on’.
The Senegal star completed a £35.1million transfer to the Bundesliga side, penning a three-year deal at the Allianz Arena worth £250,000-a-week which brought a close to a successful six-year spell at Anfield on Wednesday.
Jurgen Klopp’s side had been reluctant to lose the forward this summer but he stated his desire to leave Merseyside at the end of the season and he has now revealed he is ready for a new challenge after ‘achieving everything he can’ with the Reds.
Speaking at a press conference for his Bayern unveiling, Mane revealed he made the decision to join Bayern Munich as he could instantly see himself in the side after a discussion with manager Julian Nagelsmann.
‘I chose Bayern Munich because they were very interested in me,’ he said.
‘I spoke with my agent and the project was the best for me, even though I had other offers. Bayern is the right club and it was the right moment to move on and come here to do my best and help the team win more trophies.
‘I met the coach which was really important to know the project. When he talked to me about the team, the way they play and tactics, I was fascinated.
‘I saw myself straightaway in it. I didn’t think twice. It’s the team for me. I see myself in that team and I think I can help the team achieve things together.’
The Senegalese played his last match for the Reds in the Champions League final defeat by Real Madrid.
Mane hinted before that match in Paris that his future may lie away from Anfield and then confirmed his intention to leave less than 24 hours after the full-time whistle.
And after leading the Reds to three Champions League finals in three years, Mane believes he can achieve the same feat with Bayern.
‘They [Liverpool] are good club, I achieved big things. I achieved everything I can with the team.
‘Of course I watch not only the Bundesliga but the Champions League, especially when Bayern are playing, and 100 per cent we can achieve big things.’
Mane joined Liverpool for £31m plus £2.5m in add-ons from Southampton in 2016 and quickly became an integral part of Klopp’s revolution on Merseyside.
Across his six-year spell at the club, the Senegalese international scored 120 goals in 269 appearances in all competitions and won six trophies.
Mane insisted that he had enjoyed his time at Anfield and wished his former club the best but claimed it was time for him to move on from the Premier League.
‘I had six wonderful years in Liverpool with very nice people and great friends,’ he said. ‘Of course they were not happy but it’s a part of life.
‘I played in the Premier League for eight years and I needed a new challenge. I think Bayern Munich is the right club to discover something new and I’m coming with the hunger to win everything possible. I wish all the best for Liverpool.’
The Senegal international has some experience with German football having played under Klopp.
Mane was full of praise for the German manager but joked that Klopp might not be too forthcoming with advice on how to tackle the Bundesliga.
‘Jurgen is a great manager and great person.’ he said. ‘When I spoke with him, he was a little bit sad but he wished me all the best and I will always be grateful to this man.’
‘I’ve worked with him for six years but I don’t think he will be happy to advise me,’ he joked.
‘He’s an incredible person and I have a very, very good relationship with him. But I’ve been watching the Bundesliga for many years, so I think I have enough of an idea about it.’
Mane’s departure signals the end of an era at Liverpool as he is the first of Klopp’s original attacking trio to leave Anfield.
But he is joining a side with an equally impressive attacking pedigree with team-mates such as prolific striker Robert Lewandowski.
When asked if he thinks he will be a bigger star in Bavaria, he insisted he is more concerned about the team as a whole.
‘I don’t think I’m a star,’ he said. ‘For me it’s about the team. As long as I can score as many as I can or as many assists for my team-mates I’m happy.’
Mane was deployed across the front three by Klopp and Mane insisted he was lucky to be able to do so.
When asked where he will fit in under new boss Nagelsmann, he quipped that he would be happy anywhere on the pitch as long as it wasn’t in goal.
‘I think I’m one of the lucky players that can play in three or four positions,’ he said.
‘I think I’m comfortable in all positions. As long as the coach is happy with me not in defence or goalkeeper, I’ll be happy in any position!’