Liverpool reportedly beat Manchester United to the signing of Sadio Mane because the Senegalese forward had an issue with Louis van Gaal.
In a recent FourFourTwo interview, Van Gaal revealed frustration at not being able to sign some of his top targets.
This led to some surprise in United’s hierarchy, with club sources telling ESPN that Van Gaal was massaging the truth somewhat.
They claim that Mane refused to enter United talks as he had no desire to play for Van Gaal.
The reason given was that the Senegal star did not like Van Gaal’s restrictive tactics. That also included a reluctance to encourage flair players.
And although United did make enquiries about Neymar and Thomas Muller, Van Gaal pushed through the signings of Memphis Depay and Bastian Schweinsteiger instead – despite the reservations of the club.
The sources admit United “lost control” of recruitment during Van Gaal’s time in charge.
They added that subsequent managers, Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, have been forced to rectify those mistakes.
AGENT TOUTS MANE TO BARCELONA
Barcelona have been granted the chance to sign Sadio Mane this summer, according to a cheeky report in Italy.
Ronald Koeman has succeeded Quique Setien at the Nou Camp, but appears to have walked into a club in disarray.
Koeman tried to stamp his mark on the club by showing Luis Suarez the door. But the real story has surrounded Lionel Messi, who has since asked to leave. Talk of a move to Man City is gathering pace.
There also looks to be a further blow incoming to Koeman, with Philippe Coutinho ready to push for a move to a London giant.
The departures of long-serving regulars Messi and Suarez though will leave Barcelona with two massive holes to fill.
Truth be told there are very few (if any?!) players in the world who could step into the void.