Despite having ‘a very positive and useful experience’ at Fiorentina, Egyptian star Mohamed Salah stressed it was his right to choose his future during a press conference in Trigoria - where he was unveiled as an AS Roma player.
Salah, 23, formally joined Roma on a season-long loan from English Premier League champions Chelsea on Thursday, following a protracted saga regarding his future.
Having rejected signing a permanent deal with Fiorentina, where he had a successful six-month loan stint last season, the Egyptian’s future seemed up in the air for a while before finally sealing his Roma move.
Salah also maintained that the departure of manager Vicenzo Montello from Florence did not influence his decision to leave the club.
“Montella was a great coach to me, but I’m a professional and I try to give 100% no matter who I’m playing for," he said.
“My family and I had a great six months in Florence but that period is over now. I had the right to choose my future and that’s why I’m here in Rome."
When asked about his relationship with Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho, who once castigated him alongside then-teammate Andre Shurrle following a narrow 2-1 Capital One Cup win over League Two side Shrewsbury, Salah reiterated he has a good rapport with the Portuguese tactician.
“Personally I have great respect for Mourinho, my relationship with him is very good. He’s one of the best managers in the world. I respect his decisions and have learnt a lot from him,” Salah added.
In a different context, the ex-Basel winger said he is confident Roma have what it takes to vie for the Serie A this season and can give reigning champions Juventus a hard time during the run-in for the title.
“Juventus are a very strong side but I think my new team-mates and I can surpass expectations,” he said.
“I think the team has some very good players that can help us compete in all the competitions we'll be playing in, so I’m hoping to be a winner here. Our objective is to make the fans happy.”
Salah also revealed he had been in contact with manager Rudi Garcia before joining Roma, saying that the French boss was keen on having him on board.
“I spoke to him (Rudi Garcia) when I was in London. He told me how much he wanted to have me in his team. I’ll get on very well with him.”
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