Mohamed Salah has enjoyed a terrific first season at Liverpool, but their owner apparently thought he had overpaid for the Egyptian.
Liverpool owner John W. Henry was left “bitching” because he thought he had overpaid for “unbelievable bargain” Mohamed Salah, according to Roma president James Pallotta.
Salah joined Liverpool in June for an initial €43million, which could rise to €50m, and has gone on to enjoy a sensational first season at Anfield.
The Egypt international has netted 31 times in just 33 Premier League appearances, equalling the record for the most goals scored in a 38-game season.
He has also scored nine in 12 Champions League outings, playing a vital role in Liverpool’s charge to the last four.
Up next is a date with his former employers Roma and the Italian club’s owner, American businessman Pallotta, says his compatriot Henry was convinced he had paid over the odds for Salah when the deal was struck.
Speaking to ESPN, Pallotta said: “He was sort of bitching a little about, ‘Did we overpay? I think we overpaid.’ And I said, ‘I’ll buy you lunch.'”
And although Pallotta now recognises the deal to have been a “bargain” for Liverpool, he accepts Roma’s hands were tied because Salah had just one year left on his contract.
“When you look at it now, you can say it’s an unbelievable bargain,” he said. “The issue at the time was that when Monchi [Roma’s sporting director] came in, Salah wanted to leave. He had a year left on his contract so in another year you’d get nothing.
“He wanted to go back [to the Premier League] and prove himself, which he certainly has done.
“We can’t tell you that anybody else was calling for Salah at anywhere near that kind of price, so there’s a lot of teams that have missed out on the great play he’s had this year.”