Transfer targets can be rather hit or miss, with tenuous links between players and clubs outnumbering actual transfers at least ten to one. Links becoming actual negotiations between two clubs over a player's services are usually a good sign, but as Liverpool fans have learned more than once in the past few years, even that isn't enough to guarantee a player will end up on Merseyside.
Such was the case with Mohamed Salah, one of many Liverpool targets who ended up at Chelsea during Brendan Rodgers' tenure with the Reds. Liverpool had been in the negotiation phase when the Egyptian winger chose the excitement of London over Merseyside, and two years on Salah
"Liverpool had wanted me for a number of months. They had opened talks in October 2013," Salah told Egyptian television outlet MBC Masr. "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 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."
Mourinho needed Salah at Chelsea so much that the winger only made three league appearances during 2014/15, enough to earn him a Premier League champions medal at the end of the season but not enough to prevent him from being sent on loan to Fiorentina that February, which he followed up with his current season-long loan at Roma.
Liverpool has come under fire in the past for "not doing enough" to secure their desired transfer targets, with lack of personal phone calls from the manager to the player occasionally cited as a reason why players end up elsewhere. If Salah's career path is anything to go by, phone calls are lovely but don't guarantee playing time, and that's probably something for players to keep in mind when evaluating the logical rather than emotional reasons for moving somewhere.