It has often been claimed that Jose Mourinho had a poor relationship with Mohamed Salah at Chelsea, but the Portuguese coach has now insisted it was not his fault the African was sold by the Stamford Bridge club in 2016.
Salah joined the Blues in January 2014, during Mourinho's second spell at the London club, but the then 22-year-old never got a regular run in the starting XI.
Following loan stints with Fiorentina and AS Roma, during which he scored a combined 28 goals, he joined the latter on a permanent deal before eventually moving to Liverpool in 2017.
Mourinho, though, has now insisted it was not him but rather Chelsea who decided to sell the Egyptian to Roma in 2016.
"When the club decided to sell him, it was not me. I bought him, I didn't sell him, and my relationship with him was good, is good," he told beIN SPORTS.
"I think that he doesn't regret that move because everything went well. Everything went well for him and the progression went well for him but, at that moment, he was just a kid with a huge desire to play every week, every minute and we couldn't give him it.
"He was just a lost kid in London. He was a lost kid in a new world and we wanted to work him to become better and better and better but he was more in the idea that he wanted to play and not to wait.
"So we decided to put him on loan. To put him on loan in a culture that I knew well – Italy, tactical football, physical football, good place to play. Fiorentina is a good team, without being a team with huge pressure playing for the title and we decided that move there."
The Portuguese coach also claimed people should remember him as the coach who bought Salah rather than the one who sold him.
"Lots of things have been told that are not true. People try to identify me with the coach that sold Salah; I am the coach that bought Salah. It's completely the wrong idea," he added.
"I played against Basel in the Champions League. Salah was a kid in Basel. When I play against a certain team, I analyse the team and the players for quite a long time and I fell in love with that kid. I bought the kid.
"I pushed the club to buy him and, at the time, we already had fantastic attacking players – (Eden) Hazard, Willian – we had top talent there. But I told (Chelsea) to buy that kid.
"He was more a winger coming inside more than a striker like he is now."
Salah has been a revelation since joining Liverpool, scoring 61 goals and assisting another 24 strikes in just 82 appearances.
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