Liverpool midfielder Fabinho has revealed he tried and failed to convince Sadio Mane to remain at Anfield this summer.

Mane entered the final 12 months of his contract and snubbed the chance to sign an extension in favour of a switch to Bayern Munich, dropping the curtain on a Liverpool career which yielded 120 goals across six years.

The Senegal winger was a firm favourite among both players and fans at Liverpool, and speaking to The Athletic, Fabinho confessed that he wasn’t ready to see Mane bring his Anfield tenure to a close.

“At the end of the season, I spoke a lot with Sadio. He told me about the situation that he could leave,” he said.

“I was always saying to him, ‘Come on Sadio, stay here. You can win the Premier League and the Champions League right here, don’t leave’. But I think he had already made his mind up. We had to respect that.

“Sadio had a really good story in a Liverpool shirt. He played for six years here and during that time he won everything you can win and he decided that he wanted a new challenge. That’s ok.

“After the parade in Liverpool, everyone said goodbye to him. We knew there was a good chance he would be leaving. I always kept some hope that he would still stay but then it was all confirmed. Losing Sadio is a big loss. He was one of our best players but it’s something that we can’t change. We have to deal with it. Now other players have to step up and take on greater responsibility.”

While Liverpool could not hold on to Mane, they avoided another major departure by tying fellow forward Mohamed Salah down to a new contract which has seen the Egyptian become the highest-paid player in the club’s history.

“That was really important, especially after losing Sadio,” Fabinho said of Salah’s extension. “We knew Mo had to stay in the team and keep playing with us.

“I am really happy for him that the contract got sorted. I think he’s happier than before. In the last five years, he’s been maybe the best player in this team and has shown how important he is for the club. He’s already a legend of Liverpool. With this new deal, he can go on to become the best player in the history of the club. I’ll really try to help him achieve this.”

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