Bayern Munich’s headline summer transfer Sadio Mane said he “didn’t think twice” about joining the record Bundesliga champions, after officially being unveiled at the club on Wednesday.
With the ink still drying on the 30-year-old’s three-year contract in Munich following his arrival from Liverpool, the Senegal international was presented to the media at a press conference at the Allianz Arena.
“For me it was important to really know about the project,” Mane said of his initial contact with Bayern. “At the same time I met the coach and of course [sporting director] Hasan [Salihamidzic] was there.
“When they talked to me, especially the coach, they told me the team, how they play, and tactical stuff as well. I was so fascinated. Straightaway I could see myself in it. Then I didn’t even think twice – it’s the team for me. I think of course I can help the team to achieve things together.”
That sense of excitement is certainly mutual. Head coach Julian Nagelsmann, who was also present at the media briefing, later told the club website that “he made a very unselfish impression right from our first conversation.
“That’s extraordinary for such a big-name player. He said, somewhat reservedly, that he can imagine himself in any position. That's something you rarely experience in a first conversation, when a player puts himself totally at the service of the club and the coach. After that, our desire to complete the transfer was even greater.”
Competition for places at Bayern was already fierce, particularly in attack. Robert Lewandowski leads the line, Thomas Müller and Jamal Musiala vie for a central playmaking position, while Leroy Sane, Serge Gnabry and Kingsley Coman operate out wide.
Watch: Mane's arrival and unveiling at Bayern
Mane, however, does not foresee any problems in that sense as he adapts to his new surroundings. “I think I’m one of the lucky players who can play in three or four positions on the pitch. I’m a player who is almost comfortable in all these positions. As long as the coach is happy to put me not in defence or as goalkeeper, I think I’ll be more than happy to play in any position for him and for the club as well.”
Yet despite his evident humility and likeable persona, Mane is also hugely competitive and driven.
“There’s no doubt that it’s one of the best clubs in the world,” he said. “For sure I think hopefully we will see that in the future. One of the reasons I came here is that I believe 100 percent that we can achieve big, big things. We will see in the future.
“Me coming here, I think it’s exciting. I’m here to help my team win everything because it’s Bayern. If you play for Bayern, I think you have to have this mentality and this hunger to fight to win everything.”
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