With Roma taking on Barcelona midweek and with Walter Sabatini making progress on several lingering transfers, this week promised to be a busy one for Roma, and though it took until the latter stages of the work week, the club seems set to finalize some long rumored deals. With Edin Dzeko en route to Rome as we speak, the club took the opportunity to shine the light on Mohamed Salah, officially announcing the transfer of the 23-year-old Egyptian winger.
From the club's official site:
AS Roma are delighted to confirm the signing of Egyptian international forward Mohamed Salah from Chelsea. Salah is regarded by many as the best Egyptian player in the world right now and boasts 37 appearances with the national team.
The forward, who began his career at Al-Mokawloon before joining FC Basel in Switzerland, becomes only the second Egyptian player to sign for AS Roma after Mido moved to the Olimpico in 2004.
After impressing for Basel against Chelsea in Europe, Salah moved to Stamford Bridge and was handed his debut in the Premier League by José Mourinho at the age of 21. The Egyptian scored two goals in 13 Premier League appearances for Chelsea before moving to Fiorentina on loan.
In Italy he scored his first goal against Sassuolo, one week after his debut, and was one of the key performers in both Serie A and the Europa League during the second half of the season.
Mind you, this isn't the official transactional PDF, but rather a simple announcement, so it lacks the usual financial details, but the fine folks at Football Italia picked up some financial details of the deal, indicating that Roma will pay €5 million for an initial loan of Salah, with an option to make the deal permanent at any point this season, which was also reported on Chelsea's official site.
It’s official! Mohamed Salah is now an #ASRoma player! http://t.co/wArzFUVhFQ pic.twitter.com/pJjEYyI2w2— AS Roma English (@ASRomaEN) August 6, 2015
However, they further speculated that the option becomes permanent after an undisclosed appearance threshold, at which point Roma will be on the hook for an additional €15 million. Allow me to do the math....five million upfrontplus fifteen million next summer...carry the one...equals €20 million. A hefty investment for sure, but it looks better than the €25 million figures bandied about last month.
Okay, here is the official PDF, complete with financial figures! €5 million for a one-year loan, though they don't make mention of the option to buy, mandatory or otherwise, but it's safe to say it exists, as one would imagine Chelsea is keen to avoid a repeat of this scenario next summer.
Speaking to Roma TV, Salah had this to say about his new employer:
I think Roma are one of the biggest clubs in the world and I'm happy to be in this team. I think everybody here has ambition and everybody wants to win the title. Everybody will give their best to make the fans happy
Salah will wear the #11 shirt, which means he has to live up to the legacy of fan favorite Rodrigo Taddei, though at that price tag, we'll hope for more offensive output.
Either way, with Dzeko landing momentarily this was a momentous and expensive day for Roma. Quibble with the manner in which they spend if you like, but James Pallotta has shown no reservations in the transfer market since taking over.