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Louis van Gaal reveals Manchester United were close to signing Sadio Mane

by Ayantan Chowdhury

Manchester United’s transfer business ever since Sir Alex Ferguson retired has been hit-and-miss with quite a few costly deals proving to be duds in the long run.

Under Ed Woodward, the Red Devils were known for their big-name signings rather than players the manager wanted and former United boss Louis van Gaal has lifted the lid on yet another missed opportunity.

Van Gaal was always critical of the way the club was run during his regime and ever since leaving the Red Devils, he has wasted no chance to attack United and in some cases, for good reason.

LvG’s Mane plea

The current Netherlands boss will be hoping to guide his team to World Cup glory and the first obstacle in their path is African giants Senegal.

However, they will be without their top-scorer and talisman Sadio Mane who is out injured. And the Dutch coach mentioned that he had wanted to sign the Bayer Munich superstar back when he as at the helm at United.

Speaking in a press conference in Qatar, Van Gaal said, “I wanted him when I was the manager at Manchester United.

“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.”

At that time, Mane was a part of Southampton where his impressive displays ultimately led to a move to Liverpool.

And he went from strength to strength in Merseyside as he helped the club to a sixth Champions League trophy and 19th league title.

Mane the superstar

It was definitely a case of missed opportunity considering his displays for Liverpool. Woodward had instead focussed on big name signings like Angel di Maria and Memphis Depay.

Van Gaal is not the only Dutchman to speak out regarding Mane’s absence from the tournament. His former Liverpool and Southampton teammate Virgil van Dijk also spoke out on the issue.

“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,” Van Dijk said.

“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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