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Watch Lionel Messi reveals ‘failed’ attempt to persuade Sadio Mane to quit Liverpool last season and join Barcelona

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Watch Lionel Messi reveals 'failed' attempt to persuade Sadio Mane to quit Liverpool last season and join Barcelona 1 Sportelo

Watch Lionel Messi reveals ‘failed’ attempt to persuade Sadio Mane to quit Liverpool last season and join Barcelona

Sadio Mane just signed a £35 million contract with Bundesliga powerhouse Bayern Munich, much to the dismay of Lionel Messi, who had hoped to team up with the attacker last summer.

Even though Sadio Mane refused to leave Liverpool last summer, Lionel Messi, one of the greatest players to ever step foot on a football field, was unable to do so.

Watch Lionel Messi reveals 'failed' attempt to persuade Sadio Mane to quit Liverpool last season and join Barcelona 2 Sportelo

Liverpool’s Senegalese striker Sadio Mane celebrates after scoring a goal during the UEFA Super Cup 2019 football match between FC Liverpool and FC Chelsea at Besiktas Park Stadium in Istanbul on August 14, 2019. (Photo by Bulent Kilic / AFP) (Photo credit should read BULENT KILIC/AFP via Getty Images)

Following his admission that he wanted to leave the Reds, the Senegal international signed with Bayern Munich earlier this month. Mane’s contract was set to expire in 2023, making this summer Liverpool’s final substantial opportunity to profit from the former Southampton star who brought them £35 million from Bayern.

Although Messi encouraged the winger to do so, he could have pushed for a transfer away from Anfield earlier.

The attacker, who at the time was in contract negotiations with Barcelona, wanted to partner with Mane to lead the line at Camp Nou, and he let the club know who he thought they should seek in the summer window.

Mane’s agent Bacary Cisse discussed who had contacted his client, revealing that PSG had also spoken with the team before the Bayern move. He said the following to RMC Sport:

“Yes, PSG did indeed ‘attack’ Sadio. Leonardo had several contacts with the German agent

“They saw each other, they discussed the ins and outs of a possible transfer of Sadio at PSG, but it ended there.

“Everyone knows that Leonardo was on an ejection seat; we had to wait.

“Last year it could have also happened with FC Barcelona. It was Lionel Messi who imposed Sadio Mane in the deal when it was a question of him extending to Barca. He had given two names: Sadio Mane and an Argentinian central defender.”

In a transaction for £35 million, Sadio Mane joined Bayern earlier this month.

Mane chose to stay with Liverpool for an additional season instead. In 32 Premier League games for the team, he scored 16 goals and contributed in the Champions League and Carabao Cup.

However, he must have been frustrated that his tenure with the Merseyside club came to an end in a defeat to Real Madrid in the Champions League final.

Mane has already received plenty of praise from Messi. The former Barca player admitted in 2019 that he believed Mane should have placed higher than fourth in the Ballon d’Or standings for that year.

He said: “It’s a shame to see Mane finish in fourth place

“But I think there have been a lot of great players this year. That’s why it was difficult to choose a particular player. But I chose Sadio Mane (for The Best award) because he’s a player that I like.

“Mane achieved a great year that was exceptional for the entire Liverpool team. That’s why I chose him.”

Mane has also been mentioned in relation to the Ballon d’Or this year, although Karim Benzema of Real Madrid is most likely to win the prize following a stellar year in which he scored 44 goals across all competitions.

Speaking about the award, Messi said:

“I think there are no doubts this year, it is very clear that [Karim] Benzema had a spectacular year and ended up victorious in the Champions League, being essential from the last 16 onwards in all the games.”

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