Sunday,17 December, 2017
Current issue | Issue 1252, (25 June - 1 July 2015)
Sunday,17 December, 2017
Issue 1252, (25 June - 1 July 2015)

Ahram Weekly

The race for the ace

In great demand, Mohamed Salah weighs his options, Marawan Zayed reports

Al-Ahram Weekly

From an unwanted man at Chelsea to one of the most sought after players in this summer’s transfer window is the least you can say about Mohamed Salah at the moment. Our Egyptian star made the most out of his move to Fiorentina last January where he scored nine goals and set up another nine in 26 games. His splendid form with the Italian giants made the club exercise their option of extending his loan deal to another full season which requires the agreement of both clubs and Salah himself. However, it seems as if Salah’s mind lies somewhere else other than Fiorentina, especially after the sacking of Vincenzo Montella who led Fiorentina to fourth place in Serie A and the semi-final of the Europa League. Montella made our Egyptian star feel as important as ever after a frustrating time at Chelsea. Salah’s brilliant form in Italy saw no less than seven clubs linked with him so far this summer. Apart from Fiorentina, AC Milan, Juventus, Roma, Atletico Madrid, Wolfsburg and Tottenham are all interested in signing the Egyptian star while the option of staying at Chelsea is still very much on the cards.

Roma’s coach Rudi Garcia who’s currently in Hurghada on vacation, told some Egyptian fans that Salah is a player that would interest any team in Italy at the moment and that he thought he was a super player who can be one of the best three footballers in Serie A.

Garcia’s comments surely confirm he’s interested in signing the Egyptian star if he’s made available by Chelsea.

Apart from Garcia, Juventus’ coach Massimiliano Allegri praised Salah more than once during their games last season and said that Salah is already one of the best players in Italy. AC Milan is the latest Italian club to be linked with the Egyptian and their interest makes perfect sense as the Italian giants sorely lack players with Salah’s pace and quality at the wings.

Salah will probably want to prove himself at the highest level and in the Champions League which means that if he chose to stay in Italy he’ll probably go for either Juventus or Roma if their interest turns into official offers.

On the other hand Salah might opt to stay at Chelsea to prove himself to Jose Mourinho even though he previously made it clear he wants to leave as he never felt settled or appreciated with the English champions.

Chelsea’s neighbours Tottenham are interested in signing Salah as well according to several credible English sources, including Sky Sports. The move could be tempting for Salah if he decides he’s got unfinished business in England.

The interest from Spain and from Atletico Madrid specifically came to life a few weeks back, however, nothing concrete has been said about it since.

Salah’s outstanding season continued with the national team as he played a starring role in Egypt’s 3-0 win over Tanzania in the opening qualifier for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations, with some reports indicating that two Italian clubs and a German side sent their scouts to watch Salah in action. If these reports are to be believed then Salah surely made the most out of it as he scored a brilliant goal and set up the other two in a performance to remember.

The goal he scored against Tanzania took his international tally to 21 in just 37 games at the age of 23. There is no doubt that our Egyptian star is very much at his very best at the moment while  the encouraging part about Salah’s saga so far is that all the clubs linked with him are clubs of the highest calibre.

Champions League football and playing time will be the most important factors for Salah when he chooses his next destination, and sooner rather than later the decision will be made.

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