Belfast Telegraph

Sadio Mane not concerned about Liverpool price tag

Liverpool forward Sadio Mane insists he is not concerned about the pressure of his £30million fee as he feels comfortable at the club having turned down a move to Manchester United.

The Senegal international became the Reds' third most expensive signing behind Andy Carroll (£35million) and Christian Benteke (£32.5million) when he joined from Southampton a month ago.

Mane has already impressed in the club's domestic friendlies and is set to feature against Chelsea in the International Champions Cup match in Pasedena on Wednesday night local time as they kick off the American leg of their pre-season.

And while the real competitive action does not begin for a few more weeks the 24-year-old feels he is coping well with the move despite the expectations after such a large transfer.

"It's football isn't it? That's the game these days," he told the Liverpool Echo.

"The thing for me is not to focus on the fee. I just have to focus on what I can do in the games and in training."

Mane is enjoying working with manager Jurgen Klopp instead of, potentially, Jose Mourinho.

Asked about interest from Old Trafford when he was leaving Southampton Mane added: "Yes, it was true.

"There was interest from a lot of clubs, not just Manchester United, but as soon as I knew Liverpool were interested I just felt it was the right club with the right coach.

"It was right for me to come here. As soon as I was told of the possibility to come here and I knew the manager wanted me I said yes.

"It was the right move. I recognise the size of the club and to progress to another level as a player this was the club and the moment for me. It was a step I needed to make."

Liverpool have travelled from their Palo Alto training base to Pasedena for their game against their Premier League rivals.

However, Press Association Sport understands strikers Benteke and Divock Origi have remained at the club's Stanford University base in order to continue their training.

The pair only joined the group this week having had extended leave following their involvement in Euro 2016 and so have stayed behind to undertake extra sessions in order for them to catch up with the rest.

Benteke has been the subject of one failed bid of £25million from Crystal Palace but the London club are believed to retain an interest in the 25-year-old, although Liverpool are looking to recoup most of the fee they paid to Aston Villa only 12 months ago.

After four friendlies against Tranmere, Fleetwood, Wigan and Huddersfield - with not a goal conceded in any - Liverpool's preparations take a step up against Chelsea.

Klopp has been putting his players through some tough sessions in America but he is still expecting maximum effort.

"Pre-season is always the best opponent you can get in the wrong moment," he told

"If it was another moment, you could rest before, you could do something else, but we trained a 95-minute session and it was quite warm outside - but we had to do it, it was important.

"Now we play Chelsea. It's not the most important game in the world but we have to learn and use all we have in terms of knowledge, rhythm, fitness and put it in a game.

"It's clear we cannot be at 100 per cent but I'm not interested I want to see the 100 per cent that is possible on this day."

Captain Jordan Henderson, who has not yet featured in pre-season after returning later with his England colleagues, is keen to get started.

The 26-year-old struggled with a foot problem for most of the previous campaign and then damaged knee ligaments late on in what he believes was his "toughest" season but he has put that behind him now.

"My foot is feeling good. I've been injured for most of last season but over the course of the summer I've trained and played in the (European) championships and I've come in and I feel very good, probably the best I have for some time," he told LFCTV Go.

"This is a massive season for everyone and I feel I have to get back on the pitch and prove myself again.

"I don't think anyone can guarantee their place in the team. It is good to be fighting for your position.

"With the team we have and the manager we have I feel we can definitely do something great this year."


From Belfast Telegraph