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Mohamed Salah Transfer Uncertainty Faces Roma’s Financial Fair Play Reality

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Despite a seemingly uncertain transfer saga, FFP rules continue to make a deal necessary for Roma.

AS Roma v US Citta di Palermo - Serie A Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images

Another week, and still the Mohamed Salah saga rumbles on. The good news for Liverpool fans is that the informed consensus is still that the player is almost certain to end up at the club; that it’s only a question of when and for how much rather than if.

Everything else, though, seems rather up in the air. There are continued rumblings, from Yallakora in Egypt and ANSA in Italy and Goal in England, in the latter case via club-connected journalist Melissa Reddy, claiming a deal topping £35M with add-ons is done.

And then there was Salah’s agent yesterday making cautious noises following an unverified claim from a supposed friend of the player that a deal was done, calling any such talk “fake news.” Salah, meanwhile, is just happy to be sightseeing in his homeland.

Which puts any deal somewhere between completed tomorrow and completed who knows when. Roma, though, still do need to sell, given they risk being hit with the same kind of punishment Porto are dealing with for running afoul of FFP regulations.

Porto agreed to a €700k fine and restricted Champions League squad, the usual 25 cut to 22. It’s not a punishment that’s the end of the world, but it will make things more difficult for them—and makes a harsher punishment more likely if they reoffend.

Roma, meanwhile, have to sell before the end of the month—while getting a significant portion of any sale fee up front—to avoid being in violation of FFP regulations for the current financial year. They may not have to sell at any cost, but they do need to sell.

With Salah to Liverpool looking like the only way they get the money they need a this point, it’s likely that no matter how close a deal is to being done, we won’t have much more than a week at absolute most to get to the end of this transfer saga.