Liverpool fans have been encouraged in the club’s pursuit of Mohamed Salah, after comments attributed to the Roma star suggested he would be open to a move to Anfield.
The Reds are currently locked in talks with the Serie A club about signing the winger after they saw a £28m bid for Salah rejected by I Giallorossi, but it is an interview concerning Salah from 2016 that has piqued Liverpool supporters’ interest on Friday.
Salah had been on the verge of joining Liverpool in January 2014 before Chelsea snatched the Egypt international from under their rivals’ noses and, speaking to MBC Masr (via the Daily Mirror) about his collapsed Reds switch last year, Salah admitted that he would have “really liked” to have moved to Merseyside before Jose Mourinho and Chelsea came calling.
He said: “Liverpool had wanted me for a number of months. They had opened talks in October 2013. 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 [Jose] Mourinho and that changed everything. He explained the situation to me and told me that he needed me at Chelsea.
Mohamed Salah: Was 1 of only 8 players to register doubles figures for goals (15) and assists (11) in Europe's top 5 leagues last season pic.twitter.com/g9TR9nDSV8
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) June 1, 2017
“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.”
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has reignited the club’s interest in Salah as he mulls over potential new recruits ahead of a demanding 2017/18 campaign that will see the Reds compete in the Champions League as well as all three domestic cup competitions.
Roma, who prised Salah away from Stamford Bridge in July 2016 after a successful season-long loan, are believed to be holding out for between £35m and £40m for the forward, but Liverpool will hope to reach a compromise with the Italians to bring him to England’s top flight.
The 24-year-old has enjoyed a superb 2016/17 season with the second-placed Italian top division outfit, with 19 goals and 15 assists registered in 41 appearances in all competitions.