LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, February 19, 2022: Liverpool's Sadio Mané during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Norwich City FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 3-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Sadio Mane told Liverpool he wanted to leave LAST year: “It was the right time”

Sadio Mane has revealed he told Liverpool of his desire to leave the club last year, not this summer despite what his promised “special” answer regarding his future hinted at.

After six trophy-laden years at Liverpool, Mane sought a new adventure this summer and made the move to Bayern Munich in a deal worth up to £35.5 million.

His departure signalled the end of an era and despite suggestions of further contract talks to extend his stay at Anfield, Mane has admitted it never would have been on the cards.

And that is because he made the decision to leave Liverpool last year and informed Jurgen Klopp of such.

“It was last year I took my decision to leave because I need a new challenge in my life,” Mane told BBC Sport Africa.

“For me, it was the right time. I spoke with the coach [Jurgen Klopp] one year ago and talked to him about my desire to leave.

“If you see my story, I came from a small town – my life was always a challenge, so I want to challenge myself all the time.”

2JA8E6W Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp consoles Sadio Mane after losing the UEFA Champions League Final at the Stade de France, Paris. Picture date: Saturday May 28, 2022.

It’s not surprising that he made the decision well before the current summer transfer window but it does make his comments before the Champions League final even more puzzling.

Mane had promised the “best answer you want to hear” regarding his future after Liverpool’s meeting with Real Madrid, one he said would be “special.”

No message would arrive but murmurings of an imminent departure grew louder and Bayern swiftly emerged as the frontrunners, with it then becoming a matter of when not if he would bid Liverpool farewell.

The 30-year-old went on to say it was not “an easy decision” to make, but that he feels it is “the best decision” he has taken in his career.

“I spent eight years in the Premier League, and of course I spent six wonderful years with Liverpool and I can say we won almost everything possible,” Mane explained.

“It was not an easy decision but in life, you have to sometimes take decisions and so far I think it’s the best decision I have taken in my career.

“I’m today at one of the best clubs in the world and I’m really, really happy to be at Bayern Munich and very excited to start this season.”