Former Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers passed up the opportunity to sign Sadio Mane two years ago, according to a report.
The Liverpool Echo claim the Liverpool transfer committee targetd Mane during his Red Bull Salzburg days, but Rodgers wasn’t convinced by the then 22-year-old and decided not to pursue the exciting forward.
“It could have been so different, though. Two years ago, Mane was identified at Red Bull Salzburg. It was there, under the guidance of now-Leverkusen boss Roger Schmidt, were Mane bagged 13 goals in a side that dominated their domestic league, scoring a staggering 110 goals in 36 games, ” claim the Echo.
Instead though the Senegal international made the move to Southampton for £11.8million and now Liverpool have agreed a £30million fee with Saints for the player with personal talks underway.
“Two years on, with Klopp already an admirer from his time at Borussia Dortmund, the deal is nearing completion – for nearly £20m more than it should have been,” added the Echo.
The pacey Mane will become the fifth player in the last three seasons to swap St Mary’s for Anfield after Dejan Lovren, Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana and Nathaniel Clyne all made the same move.
The 24-year-old, who was heavily linked with Manchester United last summer has also been mentioned as a target for Arsenal and Man City, scored 11 goals and created six assists last season for Southampton.
Mane will become Liverpool’s third most expensive signing after Andy Carroll (£35m) and Christian Benteke (£32.5m ).