Premier League • England

Pundit claims controversial Klopp comment one of three factors that sealed Sadio Mane fate

Sadio Mane, Liverpool forward, warms up before the Premier League match at Turf Moor, Burnley

Jurgen Klopp may have done Liverpool no favours in their efforts to keep the now-departed Sadio Mane via one of his comments, according to a pundit.

Mane’s time as a Liverpool player came to an end recently, when he joined Bayern Munich. His six seasons at Anfield were productive on an individual and team level. But now, he is embarking on a new challenge.

Despite his exit, Mane will remain on good terms with Liverpool. He has vowed to be their biggest follower outside their fanbase. In turn, few supporters would have hard feelings against him.

Still, the idea that they could lose a player still in the prime of his career has been tough. Some feel there may be more to it than just the pursuit of a fresh challenge.

Indeed, former Premier League attacker Trevor Sinclair thinks there are three factors behind Mane’s exit.

He told talkSPORT: “This Sadio Mane transfer is obviously universally accepted now he’s left Liverpool Football Club as a club legend. But I keep on hearing some fans and ex-players saying, ‘I don’t know why he’s left?’ Let me tell you why he’s left.

“One, I don’t think he’s ever been lauded and appreciated at the football club like Virgil van Dijk or Mo Salah.

“Two, the fact that Liverpool let his contract go down to the last year kind of suggests that that’s how they felt about him.

Third Sadio Mane suggestion most indicting on Klopp

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp

“Three, I think the main thing is that Jurgen Klopp lost him when he came out and belittled the AFCON tournament which his manager (for Senegal) Aliou Cisse had to come out and defend the AFCON and said, ‘you were coming second until our African players started playing for you’.

“Mane is a man of principles. You’ve seen him buy hospitals, buy schools and all the rest of it in his home town of Senegal. And it’s for these reasons I feel Sadio Mane’s thought, ‘you know what, I’m going. I’m leaving the club’.

“He’s had a good time. He’s been a club legend. But I don’t think he could play on after that.”

Mane concluded his final Liverpool season, after winning the Africa Cup of Nations with Senegal, with 23 goals.

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