LIVERPOOL forward Sadio Mane insists he was never distracted by speculation linking him with a move to Real Madrid.
And the Senegal international admitted that it was always his intention to sign a new deal at Anfield, just like Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino.
The 26-year-old has been a huge success since his arrival from Southampton in 2016 for £34m.
His 43 goals in all competitions since then have helped turn the Reds into one of the most formidable teams in Europe.
And along with Salah and Firmino he has been part of a feared front three for Jurgen Klopp’s men.
Mane pledged his long-term future to Liverpool in November by extending his contract until the summer of 2023.
But he had been linked with a move to Madrid prior to signing fresh terms after helping the Reds to the top of the Premier League table.
“Speculation is part of football,” he 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.
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’.
Liverpool currently sit four points clear at the top of the Premier League and welcome Leicester to Anfield on Wednesday.
Mane, who has scored 10 goals in 28 matches so far this season, added: “I can’t wait to lift a trophy with Liverpool.
I know the fans are desperate for us to win the Premier League.
“It would be an amazing moment for the club.
It has been far too long for a team the size of Liverpool.
Meanwhile, star defender Virgil van Dijk is a doubt for the visit of Leicester because of illness.
The Holland international reportedly picked something up when the squad traveled to Dubai for a spot of warm weather training last week.
Van Dijk is said to still not be 100 per cent yet and Klopp will assess him again on Tuesday.