How Mane embodied Klopp’s Liverpool

Sadio Mane has completed a £35.1m move to Bayern Munich; Senegal international leaves Liverpool after scoring 120 goals in 269 games, many of them crucial; Jurgen Klopp faces a challenge to replace the qualities that Mane gave Liverpool

Jurgen Klopp probably didn’t want to be addressing transfer rumours in his press conference ahead of the Champions League final but questions on Sadio Mane’s future, however incongruous, were answered at length and with glowing praise.

Mane was described as being “in the shape of his life” ahead of the final, with Klopp adding he “couldn’t care less” about stories linking him with Bayern Munich. “It’s a joy to watch him at the moment in training and in games,” said the Liverpool boss.

Klopp already knew at that point the meeting with Real Madrid was likely to be Mane’s last game for Liverpool. His desire for a new challenge became public within days of defeat at the Stade de France and, a month on, a move to Bayern has been completed.

It is telling, though, that Klopp was effusive in his praise of the 30-year-old until the last. Liverpool are loathe to lose him but there are no hard feelings. Not after everything he has done for them.

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