News broke yesterday that Chelsea had agreed a deal to sign FC Basel star Mohamed Salah from under the noses of Liverpool officials, in a deal worth an initial £11 million plus add ons.
Liverpool had been tracking the Egyptian 21-year-old for most of this month but it seems Juan Mata’s departure to Manchester United paved the way for Jose Mourinho to commission a deal for the versatile attacking wide man.
The Anfield club are thought to have made a similar sort of offer to Chelsea although the deal from the West London side is believed to be worth more once the adds on have been accounted for.
Salah will already be familiar to plenty of Chelsea fans because he played a key role in Basel’s opening group game in the Champions League, scoring at Stamford Bridge which helped the Swiss side condemn the Blues to defeat.
Now the deal has been agreed, the medical has to be completed and personal terms agreed which the Blues will be looking to wrap up as quickly as possible.
Providing Salah hasn’t hidden some horrendous knee problem or heart defeat that would cause the move to fall through on medical grounds, it’s a matter of time before he’s unveiled and allowed to train with his new Chelsea teammates.
It’s a little difficult to see how he’s going to fit into the Chelsea squad with Eden Hazard producing some of his best form on the left, which has created an opportunity for Willian to play consistently down the right.
Andre Schurrle is also amongst the squad players fighting for an opportunity to play in wide areas and how much game time Salah gets remains to be seen.
The initial reaction from Blues fans seems to be aimed more at the club getting a deal away from Liverpool in similar fashion to how they signed Willian when he looked set to make a move to Tottenham Hotspur.
Take a look.
Sold two bench players for around £57M and signed Nemanja Matić and Mo Salah. Good business in theory. But it's Mata.— ParkedTheBus (@ParkedTheBus) January 23, 2014
Looks like we have a new player in our team on the hot SEAT. #Salah— Ramires (@ResTLessRamires) January 24, 2014