Mohamed Salah’s blistering season with Liverpool has not gone unnoticed by former employers AS Roma who now feel they should have asked the Reds to pay more than the reported €50m in transfer fees for the Egyptian star.
Liverpool paid an initial €42million for Salah in June, expected to reach the €50m mark through bonuses and variables, but Roma sporting director Ramón Rodríguez Verdejo, popularly called Monchi, accepts the price they sold their prized asset “could’ve been better”.
Monchi, however, insists keeping the Egypt star simply was not an option.
The Spaniard highlighted the transfer market-altering deals of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe to Paris Saint-Germain, with the Brazilian moving for a world-record €222m and the Frenchman set to cost €180m once his loan from Monaco finishes at the end of the season.
“At the end of the day, we could reach €50million for him with bonuses,” Monchi told Sky Sport Italia. “But at that time we had to sell and that was an important offer.
“Then there was the Neymar and Kylian Mbappe transfers that were a mess. That blew up the figures in the transfer market, but at that time it was necessary to sell.
“Even now I think the price was not the best and could’ve been better for Salah, but it gave us the possibility of making other moves.
“When I arrived, there was already a Liverpool offer for Salah worth €32million plus €3million in bonuses, and the player’s wish was to go there. In today’s football, players go wherever they want to.
“The figures are important, because at the end of the day we are a business, but the fans cannot be bought. In my years at Sevilla, people counted the trophies and those are so far missing at Roma. Fans count the trophies and victories.
“I understand the fans perfectly well and I know they don’t want to talk about capital gains, they just want to win, but that is my job and I ask for confidence in my work.
“We have to build a club that doesn’t just win, but does so consistently over time. Fans don’t want promises, they want results.
“I accept all of that, but ask them for a little faith. It takes time. We’ve got to stay calm and work harder to find the right path towards what the fans want.
“Now I have the advantage of knowing Italian football, Roma and the club.”
Salah, who scored in Liverpool’s 5-0 win at Porto in the Champions League on Wednesday, has scored 30 times in 36 matches for the Reds this season.