MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Sunday, April 10, 2022: Liverpool's Sadio Mané (R) celebrates with team-mate Fabio Henrique Tavares 'Fabinho' after scoring the second equalising goal during the FA Premier League match between Manchester City FC and Liverpool FC at the City of Manchester Stadium. The game ended in a 2-2 draw. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Sadio Mane turned down ex-teammates in favour of Al-Nassr move

Sadio Mane has revealed he was encouraged by a number of his former Liverpool teammates to join them at their respective Saudi Pro League clubs.

The Reds’ former No. 10 joined Cristiano Ronaldo at Al-Nassr following a difficult season which saw him leave Bayern Munich after just 12 months.

Bayern boss Thomas Tuchel admitted that Mane was “hurt” by how things had turned out at the German champions, where the Senegalese forward scored 12 goals and registered six assists in an injury-hit campaign.

Mane joined a host of high-profile names to make the switch to the Middle East this summer, including three of his former colleagues at Anfield.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Tuesday, April 11, 2023: Bayern Munich's substitute Sadio Mané on the bench before the UEFA Champions League Quarter-Final 1st Leg match between Manchester City FC and FC Bayern Munich at the City of Manchester Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Two of those players attempted to talk the 31-year-old into a reunion in Saudi Arabia, with Brazilian duo Firmino and Fabinho both said to have spoken to Mane about his options ahead of his move to Al-Nassr.

“I spoke with Firmino and I think he wanted me to come to the wrong club, I’m joking! He called two or three times to convince me to come to Al-Ahli,” Mane told TNT Sports when speaking of his former strike partner.

“At the same time, I spoke with Fabinho because he was quite close to me and he also wanted me to come to Al-Ittihad, but I chose Al-Nassr.”

Mane also said that he has received well wishes from Jordan Henderson, who joined Steven Gerrard at Al-Ettifaq last month.

“Of course, Henderson is here also and he sent me a message two days ago to wish me good luck and I’m excited to meet all these great guys and also to meet them face to face for the first time. I’m going to win against you guys!”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, February 23, 2022: Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk (C) celebrates with team-mates captain Jordan Henderson (L) and Sadio Mané (R) after scoring the sixth goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Leeds United FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The pair were recently reunited at an event in Saudi Arabia ahead of the start of the new season having lifted every possible major trophy together in red shirts.

Henderson was widely criticised for his move to a country where LGBTQ+ communities are heavily oppressed having spoken out publicly in support of those groups during his time on Merseyside.

The Saudi Pro League is rapidly growing with a swarm of players from the Premier League and across Europe making their moves in pursuit of lucrative deals.

Mane left Anfield shortly after the 2022 Champions League final in Paris having scoring 120 times in 269 appearances for the club across six seasons.