Louis van Gaal reveals he tried to sign Sadio Mane during Man Utd reign before injured Senegal star’s Liverpool transfer
MANCHESTER UNITED tried to sign Sadio Mane before he joined Liverpool, Louis van Gaal has revealed.
The Dutchman managed the Red Devils between 2014 and 2016 before being sacked a day after winning the FA Cup.
Van Gaal, 71, is now in his third stint as Holland manager and will take on a Senegal side without the injured Mane this afternoon.
Chatting in his pre-match presser, the Dutch gaffer admitted that he had been eager to bring the winger to Old Trafford.
He said: “I wanted him when I was the manager at Man Utd.
“I chased him at the time. I am a fan of Mane.
“He can break open a match and I would say Senegal will really miss him.”
LVG was flanked at the press conference by Mane’s former Anfield team-mate Virgil van Dijk – who felt sympathy for his old pal.
Netherlands captain Van Dijk said: “I called him the next day in the morning and obviously I wanted to know how he was, first and foremost because there were so many rumours coming out that he was injured for a while.
“I wanted just to know how he was. Unfortunately it was not the best news he had and but there was a little bit of hope, everyone thought it, but unfortunately he wasn’t going to be able to make this tournament.”
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Van Dijk, 31, then admitted that his side must take advantage of Mane’s unfortunate absence, adding: “I feel sad for him. I know how hard he works and he wants to be important for Senegal and he has been important over the past few years. It’s tough.
“Obviously he’s going to be a big miss for Senegal. Hopefully we can benefit from it a little bit.”
Mane departed Liverpool after six years at Anfield in the summer, completing a £35million move to Bayern Munich.
He has made 23 appearances for the German giants, scoring 11 times before picking up his devastating knee injury.
After subsequently going under the knife, Mane wrote on Instagram: “Thank God, the surgery I had in the middle of the week went well.
“I wanna take this opportunity to thank and show my appreciation to you all. This Monday, our dear country will compete in the World Cup, Qatar 2022.
“I am sure the Lions will transcend and approach every game as a true finale. I am also convinced that all Senegalese will be in front of the small screen to support and encourage our valiant national team.
“Like all fans, I am convinced that my team-mates will fight as one man and as they are used to doing in order to honour our dear Senegal.”
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