Monday,24 September, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1350, (22 June - 5 July 2017)
Monday,24 September, 2018
Issue 1350, (22 June - 5 July 2017)

Ahram Weekly

Reds splash the cash

Roma’s Mohamed Salah signs for Liverpool in a transfer fee that set a record for both clubs, Mohamed Abdel-Razek reports

Landing the Egyptian winger Mohamed Salah at Anfield wasn’t bread and butter stuff for the guys at Liverpool. The negotiations had to go through some stormy clouds in the past couple of weeks with the picky Roma board turning down several bids sent by the English club.

Several factors drove the negotiations to take some sharp turning points from the start, the most important being the strategy taken by Liverpool. The English club was set to back their German manager Jurgen Klopp with all the power available starting with the summer transfer window. Klopp had a good season with the Reds finishing in fourth position in the Premier League. That meant going for the Champions League next season, something which usually requires some squad boosting.

For the Egyptian winger, he was on top of Klopp’s shortlist this summer. However, the Liverpool manager doesn’t have an open budget like other clubs, so the transfer budget had to be spent wisely to be able to support other positions in his squad. The first bid of £28 million didn’t much persuade the Italians who asked for a minimum of £35 million to sit at the table with the officials of Liverpool and start negotiating. This stalled the deal for a week. News of Liverpool pulling out was all over the Internet with suggested option signings like Sporting Lisbon’s Gelson Martins, RB Leipzig Naby Keita, and Riyad Mahrez of Leicester City. But Klopp was just taking his time allocating his budget to splash the cash and sign Salah, who recently won player of the season at Roma after scoring 19 goals and 13 assists.

Roma and Liverpool accepted a striking £45 million deal, a club transfer record for both Roma and Liverpool. Salah is now the most expensive player sold in Roma’s history after Miralem Pjanic who was sold to Juventus last season for £32 million, and the most expensive player bought by Liverpool after Sadio Mane who moved from Southampton for£34 million in 2016. Liverpool had already agreed to a four-year contract with Salah, 25, which will earn him £90,000 a week even before opening negotiations with Roma. That made the English side calm during the negotiations after making sure that the Egyptian ace wants to move to Anfield. It also helped Liverpool to delay paying £5 million from the total fees and pay them when the player makes a certain number of appearances as well as tallies goals and assists.

Salah thus adds another massive achievement on his way to becoming Egypt’s all-time best professional footballer. And for Liverpool and Klopp, what a boost for the squad for a tough season to come. But it doesn’t seem to be the last as the club is already after Dortmund’s striker Emerick Aubameyang for a whopping£60 million. That should mean a title bid for the Reds next season.

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