Sadio Mane has revealed that Jurgen Klopp initially didn't want to tell him that Philippe Coutinho was leaving Liverpool, because he was concerned that Mohamed Salah's arrival at Anfield may reduce his playing time.
Mane arrived at Liverpool in the summer of 2016, immediately hitting the ground running with the Reds. But Salah's arrival a year later left the 28-year-old worried about a reduction in first-team football.
The Senegalese international subsequently asked Klopp for reassurance about his place in the starting lineup, with the German insisting he had a big role to play for the now world champions. However, the Liverpool boss didn't want to tell him about Philippe Coutinho's departure.
"Klopp said he had to rotate his squad. There was also the fact Coutinho was close to leaving and he didn’t want to tell me that straight out."
Coutinho eventually joined Barcelona in January 2018, helping further to solidify Mane's place in the Liverpool starting lineup, enabling the winger to achieve great success with the Reds alongside Salah and Roberto Firmino.
Arguably, Mane is now part of the most devastating attacking triumvirate in world football, highlighted by the former Southampton man's combined 111 goals and assists in 164 appearances for Liverpool.
Mane has been crucial in Liverpool's resurgence under Klopp, helping the club win the Champions League and FIFA Club World Cup, as well as helping put the Reds on the brink of a first Premier League title.
Coutinho's exploits with Barcelona and Bayern Munich since leaving Liverpool have been far less spectacular, and who knows what could have been if the Brazilian's exit had never paved the way for Mane's sensational rise to the top.
Source : 90min