This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has told German outlet Bild that Bayern Munich were interested in signing Sadio Mane before he joined Southampton.
However, before he made that first move to the Premier League, it seems that the Bundesliga champions tried to sign him. The former West Germany international said: “We were interested in a player, that was Mane, who is now at Liverpool. Good player. But that did not work. We were interested, Michael Reschke was our head scout at that time. But somehow it did not work, and he went to Southampton. A pity.”
Since completing his £34m move from St. Mary’s Stadium to Anfield in 2016, the 27-year-old has been a revelation. In 143 appearances for the Reds, he has 71 goals, as well as 27 assists. Last season, he was the joint-winner of the Premier League’s Golden Boot.
As such, Liverpool can be thankful that Mane joined Southampton instead of the Bavarian juggernaut – and they may have RB Leipzig to thank for it.
The controversial Bundesliga side, who were founded in 2009 and appear to go against the traditions of German football, have an equally-controversial link with RB Salzburg, where the south-coast team signed the forward from. Since their creation, no less than 16 players have moved to Leipzig from the Austrian club. Whilst it has been denied that the German side have an influence on Salzburg, the fact the two teams are owned by the same company, and the number of footballers to move between the two, makes that claim almost laughable.
Whilst £108m-valued Mane – as per Transfermarkt – may not have been part of Leipzig’s plans at the time, it seems unlikely they would have allowed a potentially promising player to move to a direct rival in their own division. In the case of his move to Southampton, the player gets to move to an arguably more challenging league than the German top flight, and Leipzig stop him from contributing to the biggest team in the country. Everyone is a winner. Especially Liverpool, and they can be happy they are now reaping the benefits of Bayern’s misfortune.