Louis van Gaal confirms he tried to sign Sadio Mane from Manchester United as Netherlands boss admits Senegal star ‘really going to be missed’
Louis van Gaal has confirmed he tried to sign Sadio Mane when he was in charge of Manchester United.
Mane enjoyed a stellar six-year career with Liverpool which saw him win all four major trophies, however, his career could have taken a very different direction.
Mane has previously said he declined to play for the Red Devils in the summer of 2015, a year before completing his move to Anfield from Southampton.
And while confirming his earlier interest in Mane, Van Gaal did not specify when exactly he tried to sign him.
“I wanted it when I was manager at Man United,” he recalled.
“I chased him back then. I am a fan of Mané. He can open a game and I would say he will be really missed in Senegal.
Van Gaal, who is now in charge of the Dutch national team, was speaking ahead of the World Cup opener against Senegal.
Bayern Munich star Mane is their talisman, however, he won’t play a role in the tournament due to injury.
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It means there is no reunion with former Liverpool team-mate Virgil van Dijk, who echoed Van Gaal’s claims that Mane was a huge loss for Senegal.
“I called him the next morning and obviously I wanted to know how he was, first and foremost because there were so many rumors he was injured for a while,” the centre-back said.
“I just wanted to know how he was doing. Unfortunately it wasn’t the best news he had and but there was some hope, everyone thought so, but unfortunately he wasn’t going to be able to make this tournament.
“I feel sad for him. I know how hard he works and he wants to be important for Senegal and he has been important in recent years. It’s tough.” Van Dijk added.
“Obviously he is going to be a big miss for Senegal. I hope we can enjoy it a bit. »
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