‘It was always clear that Mo wanted to stay’ – Klopp never worried about losing Salah and Mane
Jurgen Klopp never worried about the prospect of losing both Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah as it was ‘always clear’ the latter would stay at Liverpool.
Mane’s future at Liverpool was thrown into question towards the end of the season, with rumors suggesting he was set to leave with a year remaining on his contract.
Ultimately, his €41m (£35.2m) move to Bayern Munich went through fairly quickly in June after Liverpool secured the signing of Darwin Nunez from Benfica.
But Mane’s decision to leave raised concern among Liverpool fans at the time as Salah also had just 12 months to fulfill his contract.
Media speculation suggested contract talks with Salah had been dragging on for some time, but it was finally announced on July 1 that the Egyptian star had signed a new deal which runs until June 2025.
Despite the seemingly protracted nature of the negotiations, Klopp insists he has always been quite relaxed regarding Salah’s future.
“I knew it would happen, it was always clear that Mo wanted to stay – that was always the message,” Klopp told Liverpool’s official website.
“I spoke to him obviously and it was always clear: ‘I want to stay.’ But it’s an important contract, you have to take into account different things and that’s what takes time sometimes.
“We can’t always meet the expectations of the outside world – ‘there’s a contract ending, next year it will end, so sort it out now.
“Things need time, but obviously we are experienced enough to deal with this kind of thing. He is very happy now to be able to extend his stay here.
“We are very happy, a world-class player. Imagine you had to sign Mo Salah now; he’s at another club and you want a player with the numbers he’s created over the years. It’s practically not not possible, but we have him and he wants to stay – very good news.”
However, Klopp was eager to pay tribute to Mane once more.
He hailed the Senegalese star as one of the Premier League’s greatest players and expressed his gratitude for the friendly nature of Mane’s parting ways with the Reds.
“Sadio, what can we say about Sadio, huh? What a player, a world class player,” he continued.
“He and we reinvented it together as a No.9 also last season, which he played remarkably well.
“I like the way [the transfer] arrived now because it was completely clean. We knew, he told us, his agent told us, they wanted to leave, they wanted to have a new challenge, to find a new club.
“[It’s] negotiations never easy – everything was fine until we talked about money, but then it worked very well.
“So as well as a Liverpool legend, one of the greatest of all time in the Premier League, I would say, with the numbers he has. A fantastic person too.
“So really happy for him that he’s now at the club where he wants to be. He’s very grateful for everything we’ve done, and we’re very grateful. Now he’s at another club.”
Liverpool will face rivals Manchester United in their first pre-season friendly on Monday in Bangkok, Thailand.