Sadio Mane said it was the “right time” to join Bayern Munich from Liverpool after completing his move to the Bundesliga champions on Wednesday.
Bayern have reportedly paid a fee of up to 41 million euros ($43 million) for Mane, who scored 120 goals during his six trophy-laden years with Liverpool.
The Senegalese star has signed a three-year contract and his arrival is seen as a coup for Julian Nagelsmann’s men and the Bundesliga.
“I chose Bayern Munich because even though I had other offers, it’s the right time to move on and come here,” he told a press conference.
“I met the coach (Nagelsmann) and for me it was really important to know the project. I saw myself playing in the team straight away and I didn’t think twice about it.”
His signing will ease Bayern’s pain if striker Robert Lewandowski leaves the club, while German winger Serge Gnabry is also stalling on a contract extension.
Mane played anywhere in the top three during his time at Liverpool.
“I can play three or four different positions and I’m happy to play anywhere,” he said.
“I’m here to help my team, that’s the most important thing.”
The 30-year-old has won the Champions League, Premier League, FA Cup, League Cup and Club World Cup titles on Merseyside.
“One of Liverpool’s greatest players is leaving and we have to recognize how important this is,” said Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp.
“The goals he scored, the trophies he won…a legend, of course, but also a modern-day Liverpool icon.”
Bayern CEO Oliver Kahn has hinted he hopes Mane’s arrival can convince Lewandowski, who has one year left on his contract, to stay.
“The players watch closely who the club brings in,” Kahn said. “It also radiates inward.
“Not much has changed with Robert. He has a contract until 2023 and we will be happy when he shows up on the first day of training with us.”
– ‘World star’ –
Mane, Senegal’s top scorer, was part of the team that won the Africa Cup of Nations in February, converting the winning penalty in the final shootout against Egypt.
He has previous form at the Allianz Arena, where he scored a fantastic brace as Liverpool beat Bayern in the Champions League three years ago before lifting the trophy.
“Sadio Mane is a global star, which underlines the attractiveness of Bayern and will increase the attractiveness of the Bundesliga as a whole,” Bayern chairman Herbert Hainer said, adding he hopes Mane’s signing will boost prospects. jersey sales.
“Fans come to stadiums to see unique players like this.”
Mane left Senegal aged 19 to join Metz and spent a season in France before joining RB Salzburg, where he learned German.
“It will take me another three months to speak good German again,” Mane said in English.
He moved to the Premier League when he joined Southampton in 2014 and moved to Liverpool two years later.
Mane played a starring role as Liverpool won the Champions League and ended their 30-year wait for the 2020 Premier League title.
“It’s really strange not being a Liverpool player anymore but I’ve had an amazing time,” he told the Liverpool website. “I’m going to be Liverpool’s number one fan forever.”
Liverpool have already signed Uruguay striker Darwin Nunez from Benfica to fill the vacant spot in their front three.