New signing Sadio Mane admits he did not have to think twice when Jurgen Klopp asked him to join Liverpool.
The 24-year-old became the club’s third most expensive signing after signing a five-year contract after a £30million deal was finalised with Southampton.
It was my dream to play at a big club and the dream has come true. I am very happy to be part of LiverpoolSadio Mane
There has been some dispute between the clubs over Mane’s fee with Southampton saying privately it is £34m rising to £36m with add-ons but sources at Anfield have rejected those claims.
Irrespective of the price tag, which puts Senegal international behind only Andy Carroll (£35million) and Christian Benteke (£32.5m) in terms of the club’s record signings, Mane is not over-awed by the challenge having met Klopp.
“I spoke with him and I think he played a big role in me coming to Liverpool and I want to thank him for all the confidence,” the striker, who will wear the number 19 shirt, told LFCTV.
“He said he wanted me to come and I didn’t try to ask myself questions as I was convinced Liverpool was the right club for me.
“It is the right club, right coach and right moment to change.
“But I want to thank Southampton because they were amazing and if I am here today I can say it is because of Southampton.
“I learned a lot and I worked with some nice people.”
Mane, who scored 25 goals in 75 appearances for the Saints, is Klopp’s fourth signing after centre-back Joel Matip, midfielder Marko Grujic and goalkeeper Loris Karius.
Liverpool’s players who have not been involved in the European Championships are due to return for pre-season training on Saturday with their first friendly the following Friday at neighbours Tranmere.
Completing a deal before then was important for Klopp and Mane.
“I am happy because it is not easy if you start after (pre-season has started),” added the forward.
“But I have signed today so I will start with the team, which makes me happy and makes it easy to work with my team-mates.
“Today is a big day and I am very happy to sign for one of the biggest clubs in Europe.
“It’s a club that has won a lot of trophies and has a big history.
“I remember when I was younger I watched Liverpool v AC Milan (in the 2005 Champions League final): it was amazing and I was happy for Liverpool.
“They had great legends like (Steven) Gerrard and (Jamie) Carragher.
“It was my dream to play at a big club and the dream has come true. I am very happy to be part of Liverpool.
“I am excited to play at Anfield in front of the amazing fans and I am looking forward to a great season together as a club.
“I want the fans to be confident and I think this season will be special.”