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Mohamed Salah

Roma’s former owner ‘hated’ Salah sale to Liverpool and didn’t want to see Alisson head to Anfield either

14:01 BST 05/04/2021
Salah Liverpool 2021
Jim Pallotta reluctantly sanctioned two big-money deals with the Reds that allowed Jurgen Klopp to piece together a title-winning squad in England

Former Roma owner Jim Pallotta admits he “hated” sanctioning the deal that took Mohamed Salah to Liverpool during the summer transfer window of 2017.

The Reds parted with around £34 million ($47m) in order to get that move pushed through, but a prolific presence has seen his reputation and price tag soar across a productive spell at Anfield.

Salah has plundered 120 goals for Liverpool through just 193 appearances, collecting two Golden Boots in the Premier League, and Palotta is still cursing his luck at having to reluctantly agree a sale.

What has been said?

Palotta, who was co-owner at the time of the Salah agreement, has told The Athletic: “Salah was a wonderful kid that I hated to lose.

“I loved him. I didn’t want to sell him. But I had no choice.

“Salah was going to go no matter what because he had something to prove. That was the difference.”

Who else did Liverpool lure away from Roma?

Having found considerable value for money in Salah, Jurgen Klopp opted to tread a familiar recruitment path in the summer of 2018.

With an upgrade required on Loris Karius at Anfield, Liverpool looked to Roma for inspiration once again.

Alisson was the man in their sights, with the Brazil international being billed as ‘the Messi of goalkeepers’ during his time in Italy.

A transfer record was broken in order to take the South American to Merseyside, with a £67m ($93m) deal pushed through, but that was of little consolation to Palotta and Co in Rome.

He added on parting with a world-class shot-stopper: “Why would I want to sell a guy like that?”

The bigger picture

Salah and Alisson proved to be the final pieces in a title-winning puzzle for Liverpool.

Klopp also drafted in the likes of Virgil van Dijk, as shrewd additions were made across the field, and the Reds have gone on to claim Champions League League, Club World Cup and Premier League crowns.

Roma have had funds to invest in replacements, but they have found consistency hard to come by and sit seventh in the Serie A standings with nine games remaining this season.

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