Jurgen Klopp was never worried about the prospect of losing both Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah because it was “always clear” the latter would stay at Liverpool.
Mane’s Liverpool future came into question towards the end of the season, with rumours suggesting he was ready to leave with one year left on his contract.
In the end, his €41million (£35.2m) transfer to Bayern Munich went through quite quickly in June after Liverpool secured the signing of Darwin Nunez from Benfica.
But Mane’s decision to leave did, at the time, cause concern among Liverpool fans because Salah also had only 12 months to run on his contract.
Media speculation suggested contract talks with Salah had been dragging on for a while, but it was finally announced on July 1 that the Egypt star signed a new deal that runs until June 2025.
Despite the seemingly protracted nature of the negotiations, Klopp insists he was always fairly relaxed regarding Salah’s future.
“I knew it would happen, it was always clear Mo wants to stay – that was always the message,” Klopp told Liverpool’s official website.
“I spoke to him obviously and it was always clear: ‘I want to stay.’ But it’s an important contract, different things have to be considered and that’s what takes time sometimes.
“We cannot always fulfil the expectations from the outside world – ‘there’s an ending contract, next year it will end, so sort it now.’
“Things need time, but we are obviously experienced enough to deal with these kind of things. He is very happy now that he can extend his time here.
“We are very happy, a world-class player. Imagine you have to sign Mo Salah now; he’s in another club and you want a player with the numbers he created over the years. It’s pretty much not possible, but we have him and he wants to stay – very good news.”
Klopp was eager to pay tribute to Mane once again, however.
He lauded the Senegal star as one of the Premier League’s greatest players and expressed his gratitude for the amicable nature of Mane’s parting of ways with the Reds.
“Sadio, what can we say about Sadio, hey? What a player, a world-class player,” he continued.
“He and we together reinvented him as a No.9 as well in the last season, which he played outstandingly well.
“I like the way [the transfer] happened now because it was completely clean. We knew, he told us, his agent told us, they wanted to leave, they wanted to have a new challenge, find a new club.
“[It’s] never easy negotiations – it’s all good until we talk about money, but that worked then really well.
“So, as well a Liverpool legend, one of the all-time Premier League greats, I would say, with the numbers he has. A fantastic person as well.
“So, really happy for him that he is now at the club where he wants to be. He is very thankful for all the things we did, and we are very thankful. Now he is at another club.”
Liverpool will face rivals Manchester United in their first pre-season friendly on Monday in Bangkok, Thailand.
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