Is Chelsea winger Mohamed Salah worth Fiorentina fuss?
The latest reports from Italy indicate Serie A giants Roma (7/1 with Coral to win Serie A) are inching closer to cementing a loan deal with Chelsea for Egypt international Mohamed Salah, including an option to buy the winger next summer.
The wideman’s mooted move has caused much clamour and controversy, however, with former loan club Fiorentina’s nose seemingly put out of joint after Salah turned down the chance to rejoin them for another season.
Viola in fact, were reportedly ready to take legal action over the perceived interruption of their loan agreement and scupper a rumoured switch to Inter Milan, but are believed to be open to putting the kerfuffle aside if they receive another leased player in compensation.
A previous club statement said: “we have placed the matter in the hands of our lawyers…the loan agreement runs until June 30th 2015 with the possibility of extending the deal for the 2015/16 season and a further option of making the transfer permanent,” which all sounds quite serious.
The Tuscan club were apparently not keen on Salah returning to play for a rival in Serie A, though press suggested the Giallorossi were offering forward Mattia Darmian to Viola to grease the deal, with all parties said to be eager.
Watch Salah’s skills:
However, Napoli have now thrown a late spanner in the works with their interest in the attacker, and could tempt Salah with higher wages than their Roman rivals, while also approaching the Blues with a better offer closer to their apparent asking price of €25m.
Should the Campania club win the race for the Egyptian, full back Camilo Zuniga could head to Florence instead, yet Salah’s lawyer recently said ““[he] does not want to go to Napoli.”
Coral writers are no mathematicians, but Napoli’s involvement makes it five clubs embroiled in the transfer saga overall. Is Salah’s talent deserving of such a scramble for his services?
Premier League champions Chelsea are thought to have paid around £11m to pip Liverpool to the then Basel star and will now impressively make a profit on the 23-year-old, despite him making just 19 appearances over two terms for the London club.
Granted, Jose Mourinho has a rarefied palate when it comes to players, and Chelsea are no strangers to offloading potential (see Kevin De Bruyne) prematurely. Yet, the ‘Special One’s’ ease at allowing the wideman to leave suggests the Blues may not rue this exit.
Salah had an outstanding purple patch for Viola last campaign, hitting six in 16 Serie A games and being a general torment, including grabbing a goal against Juventus in the Coppa Italia.
See Salah score against Juve:
His promise was enough to convince Fiorentina to try to retain him at the Stadio Artemi Franchi, but the flank threat is still far from the finished package, known for fading in games, and may find Italy tougher under the microscope environments of Roma or Napoli.
It is a top class striker the Giallorossi require to propel them up another level, with Manchester City’s Edin Dzeko linked, and it should be hoped that a move for Salah when they are adequately stocked with players who can be deployed out wide, does not come at the expense of that move.
Having proven to be effective in Italy, whoever lands the midfielder will have undoubtedly bagged an exciting performer, yet six goals do not warrant such an increase on Salah’s pricetag, so perhaps Roma should allow Chelsea (13/8 to retain the Premier League) and Napoli to haggle it out.