Jurgen Klopp has opened up on the departure of Liverpool striker Sadio Mane, who departed Anfield for Bayern Munich last month.
Bayern paid Liverpool an initial £27.5m with a further £5m based on appearances. And the Bundesliga champions will pay another £2.5m based on individual and team achievements.
The 30-year-old signed a contract until 2025 and left Liverpool with a record of 120 goals in 269 games.
The Senegal international will leave a huge hole in the Liverpool frontline. But the former Southampton man wanted a new challenge and he revealed he was “all flame and fire” after learning of Bayern’s interest.
Mane had just one year remaining on his contract and Klopp has revealed that he was happy to grant Mane his wish.
Klopp had already moved to replace Mane with the club-record signing of Uruguay striker Darwin Nunez from Benfica.
“Sadio told me and his agent told me that he was looking for a new challenge,” said Klopp, via Goal. “If that happens early enough, like this case, and if that happens in the right way and the player and the agent are working, and the new club where they want to go is ready for negotiations, then it should be like it was now.
“Then you say ‘thank you’ with the biggest respect ever. I couldn’t have more respect for Sadio, what a player he is and I wish him the best – and he will play for ages.
‘Mane can play until 38 or 39’
“He can play until 38 or 39 with his body, it’s absolutely crazy. Bayern have got a really good player. It shows these kinds of transfers can work like this.
“We will want to use it in the future as an example, it’s completely normal that sometimes in relationships there are changes needed. In this case, Sadio wanted it and we reacted and now we both try to make the best of it.
“I’m really fine with the situation. We will miss him from a sports point of view and as a person as well. But I am fine because that’s how life is.”
Klopp moved quickly in the summer window with Nunez, Fabio Carvalho and Calvin Ramsay arriving at Anfield.
There are unlikely to be any more new arrivals with Liverpool’s transfer committee now working on outgoings. Ben Davies, Divock Origi, Takumi Minamino and Neco Williams have all followed Mane out of Merseyside.