After the news that Liverpool were on the verge of completing a £10 million move for Egyptian international Mohamed Salah yesterday, the deal has been thrown into jeopardy.
English-language Egypitan football site King Fut suggested on Wednesday that Salah was due to arrive on Merseyside for a medical this week, however several media outlets are now reporting the Reds have been outbid by Chelsea at the last minute.
Simon Jones of the Daily Mail reports that Jose Mourinho is keen on replacing Manchester United-bound Juan Mata with 21-year-old Salah. He writes:
Salah’s preference is understood to be Liverpool as he believes he will get more game time but Chelsea‘s financial muscle could yet persuade him and his club.
Liverpool are reluctant to go beyond £12m and talks were ongoing last night for a player who has scored 17 goals in 27 games for Egypt.
Jones reports that Chelsea have tabled a £16 million bid with Basel for Salah’s services, somewhat higher than Liverpool’s bid.
With just over a week left of the January transfer widnow, Liverpool will be hoping to bring some new faces in rapidly, and any delay over the signing of Salah, or missing out on him altogether may well be seen as a setback with the Anfield hierarchy.
— LFCZA (@LFCZA) January 23, 2014
Salah would be the first Egyptian to play for Liverpool should he complete a move from the Swiss champions.
This Is Anfield’s Henry Jackson brought us a scouting report on Salah earlier this month, and described how he would fit into Brendan Rodgers’ team. He wrote:
The African is probably at his most natural in the ‘inverted winger’ position on the right- the term given for playing on the opposite side to your stronger foot, like Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery – drifting inside onto his wand of a left foot.
Liverpool may also look to make a move for a central defensive midfielder, after the news that Lucas Leiva is ruled out through injury for up to two months.
However, the Brazilian tweeted last night to give a contrasting diagnosis, telling fans to expect him back shortly: