Roma winger Mohamed Salah has revealed he was close to leaving Basel for Liverpool in January 2014, but he eventually chose Chelsea after a phone call with Jose Mourinho.
Negotiations between Liverpool and Basel had apparently been taking place for some time, with Salah keen to make the move to Anfield.
However, Chelsea swooped to lure him to Stamford Bridge instead and the Egyptian revealed it was talks with Mourinho that caused him to snub the Reds in favour of a move to London.
“Liverpool had wanted me for a number of months. They had opened talks in October 2013,” Salah told 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 [to agree terms with Basel] 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.”
Salah failed to secure regular first-team football at Chelsea and left the club on loan for Fiorentina a year after his move to England, before eventually sealing a permanent move to Roma prior to this season.
Download our mobile app today.