Roma sporting director Monchi accepts the price they sold Mohamed Salah to Liverpool for “could’ve been better”, but insists keeping the Egypt star simply was not an option.
Liverpool paid an initial €42million for Salah in June and Monchi expects that figure to reach the €50m mark through bonuses and variables.
But even then, Monchi acknowledges the fee is perhaps underwhelming following Salah’s incredible transition to life at Liverpool, with the Egypt international scoring 30 times in 36 matches for the Reds this season.
Salah with the great bit of skill to give Liverpool the two-goal advantage!
He now has 30 goals in all competitions for Liverpool this season. 🙌🏼 https://t.co/uWOdBRLrQT
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) February 14, 2018
The Spaniard highlighted the transfer market-altering deals of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe to Paris Saint-Germain, with the Brazilian moving for a world-record €222m and the Frenchman set to cost €180m once his loan from Monaco finishes at the end of the season.
In hindsight, Monchi is somewhat disappointed, though he wants supporters to understand that Roma needed to sell Salah, who scored in Liverpool’s 5-0 win at Porto in the Champions League on Wednesday.
“At the end of the day, we could reach €50million for him with bonuses,” Monchi told Sky Sport Italia. “But at that time we had to sell and that was an important offer.
“Then there was the Neymar and Kylian Mbappe transfers that were a mess. That blew up the figures in the transfer market, but at that time it was necessary to sell.
“Even now I think the price was not the best and could’ve been better for Salah, but it gave us the possibility of making other moves.
“When I arrived, there was already a Liverpool offer for Salah worth €32million plus €3million in bonuses, and the player’s wish was to go there. In today’s football, players go wherever they want to.
“The figures are important, because at the end of the day we are a business, but the fans cannot be bought. In my years at Sevilla, people counted the trophies and those are so far missing at Roma. Fans count the trophies and victories.
“I understand the fans perfectly well and I know they don’t want to talk about capital gains, they just want to win, but that is my job and I ask for confidence in my work.
“We have to build a club that doesn’t just win, but does so consistently over time. Fans don’t want promises, they want results.
“I accept all of that, but ask them for a little faith. It takes time. We’ve got to stay calm and work harder to find the right path towards what the fans want.
Read what sporting director Monchi (@leonsfdo) had to say about building for the club’s future, the summer sale of Mohamed Salah, the January transfer window, and more… 💬
— AS Roma English (@ASRomaEN) February 15, 2018
“Now I have the advantage of knowing Italian football, Roma and the club.”
The former Sevilla sporting director and goalkeeper also discussed Edin Dzeko’s collapsed move to Chelsea, revealing they were open to selling him because it made sense “economically”.
“We started to talk to them for Emerson [Palmieri] and they then spoke about Edin,” Monchi added. “They spoke with the player, but they didn’t reach an agreement with him.
“No club is happy when selling a player, but we did it [accepted an offer] because we thought that economically and in sporting terms it was a fair operation.”
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