Sadio Mane left Liverpool because he didn’t feel ‘lauded or appreciated’ by the club in comparison to some team-mates, Trevor Sinclair has claimed.
After revealing his desire for a new challenge, the forward was allowed to leave for Bayern Munich, with a £35million deal agreed following several rejected bids.
Jurgen Klopp has voiced this dismay at one of his key players exiting this summer, while other club legends, including Michael Owen, were surprised he wanted to go.
Sinclair, however, says a variety of factors may have helped make up his mind.
He told talkSPORT: ‘This Sadio Mane transfer is obviously universally accepted now he’s left Liverpool Football Club as a club legend.
‘But I keep on hearing some fans and ex-players saying “I don’t know why he’s left?” Let me tell you why he’s left.
‘One, I don’t think he’s ever been lauded and appreciated at the football club like Virgil van Dijk or Mo Salah.
‘Two, the fact that Liverpool let his contract go down to the last year kind of suggests that that’s how they felt about him.
‘Three, I think the main thing is that Jurgen Klopp lost him when he came out and belittled the AFCON tournament which his manager (for Senegal) Aliou Cisse had to come out and defend the AFCON and said “you were coming second until our African players started playing for you”.
‘Mane is a man of principles, you’ve seen him buy hospitals, buy schools and all the rest of it in his home town of Senegal and it’s for these reasons I feel Sadio Mane’s thought, you know what, I’m going, I’m leaving the club.
‘He’s had a good time, he’s been a club legend but I don’t think he could play on after that.’
Klopp later clarified his comments about the African Cup of Nations, insisting that his words were misconstrued and that he would ‘never’ have willingly belittled it.
Mane, meanwhile, scored 120 goals and picked up 48 assists during his 269 total appearances for the Anfield outfit, and departed after his superb six-year stint.
He was integral to Liverpool reaching three Champions League finals in just five years, and helped fire the club to glory in that competition and the Premier League.
Speaking after joining Bayern, he said: ‘I was really, really clear in my mind.
‘When I was told about the interest from Bayern we discussed it. I think it wasn’t even days, just seconds and I made my decision.
‘I think it’s the right decision, the right time and the right club. As a Bayern supporter or a Bayern player, you know already the project of the club.
‘If you play for this club you need to know you’re here to fight for all the trophies possible.’