Egyptian flyer Mohamed Salah has explained why his expected move to Liverpool broke down in January 2014.
Salah’s now at Roma, but during the 2013/14 season he emerged at Swiss outfit FC Basel as a serious prospect, and it looked for all the world like Liverpool had won the race for his services.
However, the 23-year-old was poached at the last minute by Chelsea – then managed by Jose Mourinho – who made a phone-call to persuade Salah to move to Stamford Bridge instead.
“Liverpool had wanted me for a number of months. They had opened talks in October 2013,” Salah told MBC Masr, cited by IBTimes.
“Negotiations took a long time, because Basel rejected more than one offer. They felt the transfer fee was not that high. I was waiting for Liverpool because I really like Liverpool. I was eager to join them.
“But then I received a phone call from Mourinho and that changed everything. He explained the situation to me and told me that he needed me at Chelsea. That was one of the main reasons why I joined Chelsea.
“Mourinho told me that he thought I was a good player and that he wanted me to pick Chelsea.”
On countless occasions under Brendan Rodgers and the infamous transfer committee, we missed out on well publicised targets, such as Willian, Diego Costa and Henrikh Mkhitaryan to name but a few. This story from Salah provides another example of how the draw of a top coach makes a big difference in the transfer market.
Thankfully with Jurgen Klopp though we now have that. He’s already persuaded Marko Grujic to sign, with the young Serb explaining how Klopp’s own phone call helped him make up his mind (via the Echo).
What’s more, Klopp’s presence could smooth a summer deal for Mario Gotze, with the Guardian reporting the playmaker’s former boss could tempt him to Anfield.