While Liverpool’s pursuit of reported key targets Virgil van Dijk and Naby Keita have rumbled on this week, the Reds are also said to be close to agreeing a deal for Roma winger Mohamed Salah.
Salah, who scored 19 goals and assisted 13 for the Serie A side in all competitions last season, emerged as a target for Jurgen Klopp‘s side last month, as the manager seeks to sign a player who can add more width and pace to his attack in a similar manner to Sadio Mane did last season.
The 24-year-old almost joined the Reds two and a half years ago but eventually joined Chelsea, with the player himself earlier this year explaining why the deal fell through:
“Liverpool had wanted me for a number of months. They had opened talks in October 2013.
“Negotiations took a long time, because Basel rejected more than one offer. They felt the transfer fee was not that high. I was waiting for Liverpool [to agree terms with Basel] because I really like Liverpool. I was eager to join them.
“But then I received a phone call from Mourinho and that changed everything. He explained the situation to me and told me that he needed me at Chelsea. That was one of the main reasons why I joined Chelsea.
“Mourinho told me that he thought I was a good player and that he wanted me to pick Chelsea.”
So contrary to popular suggestion, it was Liverpool’s failure to agree terms with Basel and not Salah’s desire for money that scuppered the move to Merseyside.
Earlier this week, Salah’s agent posted a photo of a boarding pass for London, causing plenty of speculation on social media.
And now, it’s claimed in Italy that a move is close, with Roma eyeing Domenico Berardi as Salah’s replacement.
Gazzetta dello Sport report that Salah’s agent was in London to negotiate personal terms with Liverpool, but a fee is yet to be agreed with Roma.
The Italian club are said to want €35 million (£30.4m) for the Egyptian – who joins up with his national team on Saturday ahead of games against Libya and Tunisia next week.