After landing the big-money signing of Sadio Mane from Southampton, Jurgen Klopp has expressed his delight at welcoming him to his squad.
Mane become the German’s fourth permanent signing since joining the Reds in October, and will link up with fellow summer arrivals Loris Karius, Joel Matip and Marko Grujic this pre-season.
Like the aforementioned trio, Mane had been on Klopp’s radar for a lengthy period, as the 49-year-old explained on Tuesday.
According to Klopp, his impressive displays for Senegal, Red Bull Salzburg and the Saints in recent years made him a priority target this summer.
“I have followed Sadio for a lot of years since his impressive performances in the Olympics in 2012, and then watched his development in Austria and in his time at Southampton,” he said.
“Since I came here I have spoken to the staff a lot about him and have always felt he could be a very good signing for us.
“He has a lot of quality, works hard and has a very good goalscoring record.
“When I spoke to him I could tell that he was passionate about joining the club and playing for our fantastic fans.
“I think they will be just as excited about seeing him put on a Liverpool shirt as I am.
“It is great that we have managed to sign him so he can work with us from the first day of pre-season.”
Klopp’s final word on securing his signings before pre-season is a salient one, as the ex-Borussia Dortmund manager is planning an intensive warmup schedule for his side.
As well as nine friendly fixtures—including a showcase clash with Barcelona at Wembley Stadium and a return to another former club in Mainz—Klopp is set to put his squad through a gruelling regime of triple training sessions.
This is designed to improve the fitness of his squad ahead of a crucial 2016/17 season, with the onus on challenging at the top end of the Premier League.
Speaking on his move to Anfield, Mane said that he was relishing pre-season, to ensure he is ready for a positive first campaign at Liverpool.
“It’s not easy if you start after [pre-season begins], but I’ve signed today and I will start with the team,” he told LFCTV.
“This makes me more happy, and I think I’ll be ready to work with my team-mates.”
Mane will now be looking to challenge the likes of Adam Lallana, Roberto Firmino, Philippe Coutinho and Lazar Markovic for a key role under Klopp this season.