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Roma Admit They “Needed” to Sell Mohamed Salah to Liverpool

Financial Fair Play issues forced Roma to sell Salah for well below his current market value.

FC Porto v Liverpool - UEFA Champions League Round of 16: First Leg Photo by Carlos Rodrigues/Getty Images

Liverpool could pay up to €50M for Mohamed Salah when everything’s said and done—and with the form he’s in, it wouldn’t surprise anyone if he’d already hit most of the triggers for fee escalators with most of the second half of his first season at Anfield still left to play.

That’s the word today out of Italy from Roma sporting director Monchi, who says that despite reports of a deal getting done for around £35M—or €40M in Roma’s local currency—the Salah deal could in fact see Liverpool pay €50M—or just a hair under £45M in Pounds.

“In the end, with bonuses, we got €50 million for him,” Monchi noted. “I don’t feel that is the best for him right now [but] it’s still double what their first offer was, and at the time we needed to sell and he already had an agreement with Liverpool, so we couldn’t do anything else.”

Roma at the time needed to make a major sale by the end of May in order to ensure they remained Financial Fair Play compliant, so to not sell Salah—or some other major part of their squad—early in the transfer window would have put them at risk of being punished by UEFA.

Even at the time, it looked a great deal for Liverpool. And even at the time a €50M fee likely would have seemed decent given it includes all performance-based escalators—money Liverpool only pay if Salah plays to his maximum. Which, rather than playing to, he’s rather exceeded.

Now, following a string of £100M-plus transfers over the past two windows, it’s a number that feels almost absurdly low for a player doing the things Salah is. Salah is, it is now clear, a world class attacker, and whatever the precise final figure Liverpool end up paying will be a steal.

“Then there was the transfers of Neymar and Mbappe to Paris Saint-Germain,” added Monchi ruefully, “who slightly altered the prices on the transfer market.”

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