Former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has told ESPN Brazil he deserves credit for bringing Mohamed Salah to Stamford Bridge, not the blame for selling the Liverpool star to Roma in 2016.
Mourinho and Chelsea acquired a 21-year-old Salah from Basel for €16.5 million in January of 2014. However, the Egypt international found opportunities hard to come by at the club and was loaned to Fiorentina the following winter and then sold to Roma a year later.
Salah returned to the Premier League at the start of this season, signing with Liverpool for a then club-record fee of €42m, and has been a revelation for Jurgen Klopp’s side, scoring 43 goals in all competitions and being named the PFA Player of the Year.
Salah’s sensational campaign has left many to question Chelsea’s decision to sell him, and Mourinho defended himself from those queries, adding: “It is the first time that I am going to say this, but it is another injustice that has been talked about me.
“People say that I was the one that sold Salah and it is the opposite.
“I bought Salah.
“It is the opposite. I was the one that bought Salah. I was the one that told Chelsea to buy Salah. It was with me in charge that Salah came to Chelsea. But he came as a young kid, physically he was not ready, mentally he was not ready, socially and culturally he was lost and everything was tough for him.
“We decided to put him on loan and he asked for that as well. He wanted to play more minutes, to mature, he wanted to go and we sent him on loan to Fiorentina, and at Fiorentina he started to mature.