Jose Mourinho insists he didn't sell Mohamed Salah, but says the Egyptian 'wasn't mentally ready' at Chelsea

26 April 2018, 23:05

Jose Mourinho has denied being the man behind Chelsea's sale of now PFA Player of the Year Mohamed Salah, but feels the forward was not physically or mentally ready at the time.

It was under Mourinho that Salah arrived in the Premier League with Chelsea after signing from Basel, but found first-team opportunities limited at Stamford Bridge.

After a season in England the Egyptian was loaned out to Fiorentina, before later undertaking a spell at Roma and signing permanently for the club.

Salah's rise since then has been meteoric and his return to English shores with Liverpool this season has produced 43 goals so far, with fixtures still to play.

The highest individual accolade has been handed to Salah as a result, although Mourinho stands by his view that the 25-year-old was not ready for English football during his Chelsea days.

"People say that I was the one that sold Salah and it is the opposite. I bought Salah," Mourinho told ESPN Brazil.

"It is the opposite. I was the one that bought Salah. I was the one that told Chelsea to buy Salah. It was with me in charge that Salah came to Chelsea.

"But he came as a young kid, physically he was not ready, mentally he was not ready, socially and culturally he was lost and everything was tough for him.

"We decided to put him on loan and he asked for that as well. He wanted to play more minutes, to mature, he wanted to go and we sent him on loan to Fiorentina, and at Fiorentina he started to mature."

Despite Salah now being spoken of as a potential future Ballon d'Or candidate, Mourinho suggested the decision to allow the player to leave was not a mistake.

"Chelsea decided to sell him, OK? And when they say that I was the one that sold him it is a lie. I bought him. I agreed to send him on loan, I thought it was necessary," said Mourinho.

"In football we make mistakes a lot of times. So many times some players develop in ways we were not expecting, some others don't reach another level like we thought they would, so I don't even think this is a mistake, it is just part of the job."