Netherlands boss Louis van Gaal nearly signed Sadio Mane when he was at Man Utd

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    Netherlands boss Louis van Gaal has revealed how he nearly signed Sadio Mane back when he was in charge of Manchester United.

    The Dutch take on Senegal in their World Cup opener on Monday in what could have been a classic clash between Virgil van Dijk and Mane. The two have not met since the forward left Liverpool in the summer to join Bayern Munich.

    However, an injury a week before the World Cup got underway has seen Mane ruled out of the tournament in cruel circumstances. But his career could have been vastly different had Van Gaal got his way.

    READ MORE: Hapless Qatari shot-stopper once won Golden Glove at major international tournament

    That is because the Holland manager has admitted that he tried to sign the Senegalese striker whilst in charge of United between 2014 and 2016. Speaking in a press conference in Qatar, Van Gaal said: "I wanted him when I was the manager at Man Utd.

    "I chased him at the time. I am a fan of Mane. He can break open a match and I would say Senegal will really miss him."

    Mane had been at Southampton at the time, where he spent two seasons before Liverpool snapped him up in 2016. And United might feel they missed a trick after the forward developed into one of the best players in the world, helping the Reds win the Premier League and Champions League.

    While Mane devastated defences across the country, holding the backline together was Van Dijk – another integral part to Jurgen Klopp's system. And the centre-back, who also joined from Southampton, has opened up over his sadness that he will not see his pal in Qatar.

    "I called him the next day in the morning and obviously I wanted to know how he was, first and foremost because there were so many rumours coming out that he was injured for a while," Van Dijk said.

    "I wanted just to know how he was. Unfortunately it was not the best news he had and but there was a little bit of hope, everyone thought it, but unfortunately he wasn't going to be able to make this tournament."

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    • Eden Hazard admits he is no longer the player he was but he can still do 'great things'

    • Manchester United FC
    • Sadio Mane
    • Premier League
    • Virgil van Dijk

    Source: Read Full Article