Writer: Gavin Kelley-Day
Date:Thursday January 23 2014
Long-term Liverpool target Mohamed Salah is set for a move to Chelsea after the Blues had an offer accepted...
Basle attacker Mohamed Salah finally looks to be on his way to the Premier League but it is apparently Chelsea and not Liverpool who have secured the Egyptian's signature.
Rumours of the development had been rife overnight and the Londoners have this afternoon confirmed a bid from them has been accepted.
A statement, published on Chelseafc.com, read: "Chelsea Football Club can confirm an agreement has been reached with FC Basel for the transfer of their 21-year-old attacking midfielder Mohamed Salah."
The news will come as a big blow to Liverpool who had been tracking the player for some considerable time.
Previous reports even claimed the Kop outfit had agreed personal terms with Salah and that a medical was booked in for later this week.
Unfortunately, despite being in prolonged and advanced negotiations, the Merseysiders continually failed to agree a fee with Basle.
The Swiss side were said to be looking for upwards of £16million whereas Liverpool wanted to pay as little as half that amount.
Chelsea's swoop provides them with cover following the departures of Juan Mata to Manchester United and Kevin De Bruyne to Wolfsburg.
Their accepted offer is likely to have been somewhere in between the valuations of Liverpool and Basle.
Salah initially came through the ranks at El-Mokawloon SC before moving to Europe in 2012 - the same year as he won a Confederation of African Football award for Most Promising Talent of the Year.
He has an impressive goal scoring record at both club and country with 20 goals in 78 appearances for Basel and 17 in 27 for the Egyptian national team.
This is not the first time Liverpool have missed out on a target because of financial wrangling. During the summer both Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Willian went elsewhere because we essentially refused to stump up the necessary cash. All are a consequence of the prudent business approach with which FSG now run the club and partly a result of how they were burned early on in their ownership with big-money signings such as Andy Carroll and Stewart Downing. In fairness to the owners, it is the right approach in many ways - if you wanted to buy a house and valued it at £200k but the seller wanted £400k, you'd walk away too. Unfortunately these basic principles and business logic don't usually apply in football and as long as other sides such as Chelsea and Manchester City continue to play by different rules this will keep happening. There is no doubting Salah would have been a good signing who would have boosted our top four aspirations. Hopefully the club has other targets in mind otherwise this season could easily end up being a missed opportunity.
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Date:Thursday January 23 2014
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