Tuesday,21 August, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1256, (30 July - 5 August 2015)
Tuesday,21 August, 2018
Issue 1256, (30 July - 5 August 2015)

Ahram Weekly

The long, hot summer

After a protracted transfer story, Mohamed Salah is close to joining Roma, reports Marawan Zayed

Al-Ahram Weekly

One of the longest transfer sagas this summer belongs to Mohamed Salah. The Egyptian star has been at the centre of a transfer tug-of-war involving Fiorentina, where he spent the second half of last season, and Inter Milan, for much of the summer. However, Salah seems to be on his way to the Capital to join Roma as both Chelsea and Salah himself agreed to join the Serie A giants at the weekend after both clubs discussed a £1.4 million loan fee with a buy-out figure of £16 million which means a net profit of £5 million for Chelsea if the deal goes through.

Salah wanted to join Inter and he and Chelsea accepted their offer, only to see Fiorentina get in the way of the deal, claiming that they automatically have the option of extending Salah’s loan deal for another season if the Egyptian did not send a written refusal before the end of June which did not happen according to Fiorentina. Salah and his agent just phoned to inform them that Salah would not be extending his loan deal. However, neither Salah nor Chelsea confirmed or denied the previous story which raised some eyebrows as Fiorentina seem pretty confident they have the right to extend the loan deal automatically now or suspend Salah if he decided to join another team.

On the other hand, there is no chance Salah will be staying in London as Jose Mourinho made it clear that both the Egyptian star and Felipe Luis will be leaving Chelsea, seeking more playing time which will be very hard to get at the club. Luis will be returning to Atletico Madrid while Salah’s splendid form with Fiorentina during his six-month stint is the main reason Italian giants Inter and Roma are fighting for his signature, let alone Fiorentina’s readiness to make him one of their highest paid players at the club if he agrees to extend the loan deal or sign permanently.

Some rumours have it that Italian champions and Champions League finalists Juventus are monitoring Salah’s situation in silence as they seek to get their hands on him if things get complicated with fellow Italian teams. If Chelsea manages to cool down things with Fiorentina, Salah will most probably join Totti at Roma as the Egyptian star set his heart on moving to the Capital to play in the Champions League. Roma finished second in the league last season.

Salah’s lawyer said that Salah’s move to Roma should go through smoothly without any problems with Fiorentina, claiming that Fiorentina’s main problem is with Inter, not the player, which is why they’re trying to complicate the deal.

“Fiorentina have no foundation for their demands, even if I know they are talking to Chelsea’s lawyers,” Salah’s lawyer said. “There is absolutely no problem and we are continuing negotiations with the Giallorossi. First, Fiorentina signed the contract agreeing the lad could leave if he wanted to, and then changed their minds.”

It should be just a matter of days before Salah’s next club is confirmed but reports in England and Italy say that his move to Roma is a 90 per cent done deal.

Salah has said he is upset with how things got ugly with Fiorentina, the club that has a special place in his heart. He said that he thoroughly enjoyed every second of his stay at the club but has his own reasons that made him decide against staying for another season. Should it happen, his move to Roma would make perfect sense to all parties involved as Salah is now an established Serie A star who should be a great signing to any team in the country. Roma, on the other hand, is one of the biggest teams in Italy and has been Juventus’ main rival for the last few seasons.

Hopefully the deal will go through smoothly without any obstacles as the last thing Salah needs at the moment is getting suspended.

The writer is a freelance journalist.

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