Liverpool striker Sadio Mane revealed that he paid very little notice of rumours linking him with Real Madrid before signing a new contract in November.
The Senegal international had been linked with a surprise transfer to the Santiago Bernabeu following a strong campaign at Liverpool last season amid prolonged talks over a new deal at Anfield.
Mane finally put an end to these rumours by signing his contract in November that will see him remain at Liverpool until 2023.
The 26-year-old followed in the footsteps of his strike partners Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino in committing his long-future to the Reds.
And Mane has now revealed that talk over a switch to Real was never something he took seriously while negotiating his contract.
“Speculation is part of football,” Mane told World Soccer. “You just learn to live with it and not to take it too seriously.
“All I can say is that my only concern is Liverpool. Mo, Bobby… it seemed like everyone was signing contracts and they were saying: ‘Hey Sadio, when are you going to sign?’. I said to each of them: ‘Don’t worry bro, I will sign.’
“And what did I do? I signed… so they are pleased now!
“I’m very happy here and I think people are happy with me too. We want to write our names alongside the many great ones in the story of this club. Hopefully, it’s the beginning of something special.”
Mane joined Liverpool in the summer of 2016 from Southampton in a £34m deal and he’s since gone on to manage 43 goals and 20 assists in 101 appearances across all competitions.
The Senegalese forward has played a vital role in Liverpool’s climb up to the top of the Premier League this term with nine goals in 21 games and will hope to continue his fine form for the remainder of the campaign as the Reds chase a first league title since 1990.