Basel considered Liverpool bid for Salah 'laughable', says the Egypt forward

Hatem Maher, Saturday 5 Apr 2014

Mohamed Salah insists he did not opt to join Chelsea rather than Liverpool for financial reasons

Chelsea's Mohamed Salah, second right, celebrates his goal against Stoke City during their English Premier League soccer match at Stamford Bridge, London, Saturday, April 5, 2014 (Photo: AP)

Mohamed Salah said on Saturday that Chelsea were more serious in pursing him than Premier League rivals Liverpool, adding that a phone call he had received from Jose Mourinho was decisive in luring him to Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea beat off competition from Liverpool to sign the Egyptian international winger from Swiss side Basel in the January transfer window as they sought to bolster their counter-attacking abilities.

"The Liverpool coach said I had changed my mind about joining the club because I received a better financial offer from Chelsea. This was not the case," Salah said in an interview with Qatar-owned beIN Sports.

"The real talks with Liverpool started in October. But from October to January, there was no real progress.

"I don't want to say the amount of Liverpool's first official bid, but Basel officials can reveal that because they laughed when they received the bid."

Salah was criticized by Egyptian media for opting to join Chelsea, with some critics suggesting he would have had a better chance of playing on a regular basis had he moved to the Reds.

He admitted recently he was aware that it would be difficult for him to break into Chelsea's starting line-up, given the abundance of attacking talents at the disposal of Mourinho.

However, the 21-year-old made up his mind once he received a phone call from the Portuguese coach.

"When Mourinho phoned me to say that he needed me in his team, I did not hesitate. He told me I would fit in his plans and that Chelsea's playing style would suit me," he added.

Salah has made four substitute appearances in the league since joining Chelsea, scoring once in a 6-0 drubbing of London rivals Arsenal.

He broke the offside trap to put the icing on the cake with aplomb shortly following his second-half introduction, prompting Mourinho to pump the air with his fist in celebration on the touchline.

"He told me before the match that I would score against Arsenal. This goal was very important to me because, honestly speaking, I was under pressure," Salah said.

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