Jose Mourinho insists that he wanted to keep Mohamed Salah at Chelsea instead of selling the Egyptian forward to AS Roma. Salah joined Chelsea in January 2014 in a €15m deal from FC Basel but was limited to 19 appearances. He then joined Fiorentina and AS Roma on loan before completing a full move to the Romans.
After two impressive seasons at the Romans, Salah signed for Liverpool in a €36m deal. Since then the forward has established himself as one of Europe’s leading forward players, reaching the Champions League final last year breaking the goal scoring record in the Premier League with 35 goals last season.
“When the club decided to sell him, it was not me. I bought him, I didn’t sell him, and my relationship with him was good, is good,” he told beIN SPORTS. “I think that he doesn’t regret that move because everything went well. Everything went well for him and the progression went well for him but, at that moment, he was just a kid with a huge desire to play every week, every minute and we couldn’t give him it.”
Mourinho revealed that the Champions League games against Basel convinced him to buy Salah. “I played against Basel in the Champions League. Salah was a kid in Basel. When I play against a certain team, I analyse the team and the players for quite a long time and I fell in love with that kid. I bought the kid.”
“I pushed the club to buy him and, at the time, we already had fantastic attacking players – [Eden] Hazard, Willian – we had top talent there. But I told [Chelsea] to buy that kid. He was more a winger coming inside more than a striker like he is now.” Mourinho is currently without a club after he was sacked by Manchester United in December.