'Why did Chelsea sell Salah? It was the club's decision not mine,' says Mourinho

Ahram Online , Thursday 17 Jan 2019

Mohamed Salah
Jose Mourinho said that Chelsea made the decision to sell Salah not him (Photo: AFP)

Jose Mourinho distanced himself from Mohamed Salah's departure from Chelsea in 2016, insisting that the decision to sell the Egyptian international to Roma was made at the time by the club not him, The Portuguese coach told beIN Sports on Thursday.

The Egyptian winger joined Chelsea under Mourinho's guidance from Swiss side Basel in 2014, but he failed to establish himself in Stamford Bridge and was loaned out to Fiorentina and Roma, before a permanent move to the Stadio Olympico in 2016.

In 2017, the then 25--year-old returned to England, this time with Liverpool, taking the Premier League by storm since the moment he stepped foot onto the Anfield.

Salah finished the 2017-2018 season as the Premier League top scorer with 32 goals and won the Professional Footballers’ Association’s Player of the Year award.

This season, Salah is the current leading scorer in the Premier League with 14 goals in 22 games so far.

"Lots of things have been told [about the Salah departure from Chelsea] that are not true," Mourinho told beIN Sports.

 "People try to identify me as the coach who sold Salah; I am the coach that bought Salah. It's completely the wrong idea."

"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."

Mourinho, who was recently dismissed by Manchester United coach, said that Salah was impatient at Chelsea.

He explained that the Egypt international was in a hurry to start, which was very difficult with the presence of many attacking midfielders at this period such as Hazard and Willian.

"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 the club to buy that kid."

"He was more a winger coming inside more than the striker he is now. He was just a lost kid in London. He was a lost kid in a new world and we wanted to work with him to become better and better and better, but he was more in the mindset he wanted to play [immediately] not wait."

"So we decided to put him on loan. To put him on loan in a culture that I knew well - Italy, tactical football, physical football, good place to play. Fiorentina is a good team, without huge pressure to play for the title, and we decided that move there.

"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. 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 that," Mourinho concluded.

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