Liverpool forward Sadio Mane was key to helping the club beat Bayern Munich to the signing of Leipzig star Naby Keita.
Liverpool finally completed their protracted move for Keita when he joined late last week.
The Reds paid Keita’s RB Leipzig release clause as well as a premium last summer to secure his signature ahead of this coming season.
But they had to fend off interest from across Europe for a midfielder with a burgeoning reputation.
According to Paul Joyce of The Times, Jurgen Klopp was integral in beating Bayern to the 23-year-old.
But Mane, Keita’s former teammate at RB Salzburg, was the key.
“Bayern Munich wanted Keïta, whose first season at Leipzig marked him out as one of Europe’s up and coming talents, but Liverpool were able to make a sustained sales pitch for the best part of a year, stressing how under Klopp they were building a young, exciting squad into which he would fit seamlessly,” Joyce writes.
“It was here that Mané helped directly in selling the vision in a way Bayern could not. He was able to describe to his former team-mate and friend how the club had treated him, how they had kept promises following his own arrival from Southampton in 2016 and offer insight into Klopp’s methods and how he will extract more from him.”
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