Yaya Toure has revealed Manchester City snubbed his advice when he told them to sign Sadio Mane from Southampton.
The Senegal international took the Premier League by storm when he moved to the St Mary’s from Red Bull Salzburg in 2014, scoring 21 goals in 67 games.
The now Bayern Munich forward was hot property on the South Coast following an explosive start to his Premier League career, and he ultimately joined Liverpool for £34m in 2016.
At Anfield, he went on to become an integral part of Jurgen Klopp’s famed attacking trident that delivered Liverpool a first Premier League title in 2020, and further Champions League success in 2019, flourishing alongside Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah.
The Reds were not the only club courting Mane during his time in Southampton colours, and former Man City midfielder Toure has now revealed that he tried to persuade the powers that be at the Etihad to move for Mane, only for his pleas to fall on deaf ears.
“I always wanted to play with him [Mane],” Toure told BBC’s Match of the Day Africa: Top 10.
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“When I was at City, at the time when he was at Southampton, I highly regarded him and I was asking some of my superiors to just sign him. But in the end it just didn’t happen.
“After that Klopp had the eyes to get him and now look what he did for Liverpool, he was brilliant. I like him, I like him as a player.”
Mane joined Bayern Munich last summer after scoring 120 goals in 269 appearances for Liverpool, but he has struggled to replicate that attacking potency in Bavaria, and is now being linked with a move away from the Allianz Arena.
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Toure went on to hail Mane’s compassion away from the sport, describing the Senegal captain as a “big example” for the work he does away from the pitch.
He said: “The way he deals with things smoothly and the support he gives back to his people in his country is incredible, with what he’s been involved with.
“Some days I get mad when I read media about him and a journalist will ask him, ‘Why don’t you have a Ferrari and things’, and he says, ‘No, I don’t need it, I prefer to have a normal car than have a Ferrari’.
“Two months later we see him, he’s been doing things back in his home country, he’s a big example.”