'Why I fell in love with Mo' Salah' - Jose Mourinho - NewzEmpire


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Thursday, January 17, 2019

'Why I fell in love with Mo' Salah' - Jose Mourinho

Former Manchester United and Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho says he "fell in love" with Mo Salah when he first watched him play at Basel and denies being the reason the Egyptian star left Stamford Bridge.

Salah signed for Chelsea from Basel for around £15 million in 2014, but was loaned to Fiorentina after just one year with the Blues and eventually sold to Roma in 2016 for less than what they originally paid for the pacey winger.

The 26-year-old has since signed for Liverpool for £34 million, scored a 38-game Premier League season goal-scoring record of 32 goals and helped the club to the 2017/18 Champions League final.  

Mourinho's transfer policy has been criticised throughout his illustrious career, particularly over his unwillingness to play and develop young players, but the Portugese said Salah's departure in particular was outside of his control.

"Let me start with Salah, because lots of things have been told that are not true," Mourinho said during his first interview with beIN SPORTS since being fired by Manchester United. 

"People try to identify me as the coach that sold Salah. I am the coach that bought Salah, so it is completely the wrong idea. I played against Basel in the Champions League and Salah was a kid in Basel. When I play against a certain team, I analyse the players for a long time and I fell in love with that kid.

"I bought the kid, I pushed the club to buy him and we already had fantastic attacking players like Hazard, Willian. Top talent, but I told them to buy that kid."

Mourinho says Salah, who was just 21-years-old at the time, failed to adjust to life in the English capital and was frustrated by an initial lack of playing time.

"He was just a lost kid in London, a lost kid in a new world," Mourinho said. 

"We wanted to work him to become better and better, but he wanted to play and not wait. So we put him on loan in Italy - technical, physical football - a good place to play. Fiorentina had no pressure to win a title, but when the club decided to sell him, it was not me. But I bought him, not sell him and my relationship with him was good."

Salah currently sits atop the Premier League goal-scorers list with 14 alongside Arsenal's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Tottenham's Harry Kane. His Liverpool side also sit in first place on the table, four points clear of second place Manchester City.

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