‘One of Liverpool’s greatest’: Mané hailed by Klopp after Bayern move

Sadio Mané was described by Jürgen Klopp as “one of Liverpool’s greatest-ever players” after his transfer to Bayern Munich was confirmed. The forward, who said he was in no doubt he was making the right move, has joined for a guaranteed £27.5m and the fee could rise to £35.1m with add-ons.

“It’s a big moment – there is no point in anyone trying to pretend otherwise,” Klopp said. “One of Liverpool’s greatest-ever players is leaving and we must acknowledge how significant this is.”

Mané won a Champions League, Premier League, FA Cup, Carabao Cup, Super Cup and Club World Cup during his six seasons at Anfield and Darwin Núñez has been bought from Benfica in a deal worth up to £85m to help replace him.

“He leaves with our gratitude and our love,” Liverpool’s manager said. “He leaves with his status among the greats guaranteed. And yes, he leaves in a moment where he is one of the best players in world football. But we must not dwell on what we now lose, instead celebrate what we were privileged to have. The goals he scored, the trophies he won; a legend, for sure, but also a modern-day Liverpool icon.”

Mané, who had one year left on his deal at Liverpool, told his new club’s website: “I’m very happy to finally be with FC Bayern in Munich. We had a lot of talks and I felt the great interest of this big club from the start so there was no doubt in my mind right from the start. This is the right time for this challenge. I want to achieve a lot with this club, also internationally.”

The Senegal forward arrives at Bayern with their leading scorer, Robert Lewandowski, determined to leave for Barcelona and attracting interest from other clubs including Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain. Bayern’s board member for sport, Hasan Salihamidzic, reiterated on Wednesday that the Pole had a contract to 2023 and said he was expected for pre-season training on 12 July.

Salihamidzic underlined why Bayern moved for Mané. “A top international star is coming to FC Bayern, who has left his mark on world football,” he said. “We’re proud to have brought him to Munich. Sadio made it clear from the first minute in our talks that he now wanted to play for FC Bayern. Everyone knows his outstanding technical qualities as well as his incredible mentality.”

Salihamidzic said the transfer “shows that our club and he have big aims”. Bayern won a 10th consecutive Bundesliga title in April but failed for a second consecutive season to get beyond the Champions League quarter-finals.

Mané, who has a contract to 2025, told Liverpool’s website: “Obviously it is strange – really, really strange – to no longer be a Liverpool player. But of course I had a great time, an unbelievable time. We won a lot. My life is always [about a] challenge and when it came I said to the club that I want to leave.”