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Salah to Liverpool Done, Sort Of?

Hate to say I told you so

AS Roma v SSC Napoli - Serie A Photo by Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images

Say it with me Mohamed Salah transfers are seldom easy.” As Roma fans, we know this intrinsically since we lived through it ourselves two seasons ago, it’s practically axiomatic. After crossing the Ts and dotting the lowercase js on this deal, it seemed as though the Mohamed Salah to Liverpool transfer was done and dusted, but reports late this afternoon indicated that there were still some minor hangups delaying the deal.

With the basic framework of a €40 million + €5 million in bonuses in place, many believed that Salah would arrive in England today (London for some reason) to take his medical examination, making this deal all but official. None other than Gianluca Di Marzio has given this deal the final seal of approval, but not so fast says Football Italia:

However, our exclusive source close to Salah insists today is not the day of an announcement.

Press Association Sport also note that there will be further negotiations over the details of the contracts, so that phase won’t be completed in time for him to undergo a medical on Wednesday.

Now, this doesn’t mean the deal isn’t happening, just that it isn’t happening today. So on the spectrum of Roma getting sued by Fiorentina to Salah not being able to pick out a tie for his Liverpool press conference, it skews towards the latter. What those delays might be we have no idea, but one can presume, given the money exchanging hands, they’re probably procedural.

When all is said and done, Salah not only represents Roma’s biggest ever sale, but Liverpool’s largest ever purchase, eclipsing their deal for Andy Carroll in 2011. And while €45 million is nothing to sneeze at, there’s this:

Liverpool are acquiring prime talent who at 25 years old is likely to spend his best years with them. Salah’s profile appears so solid at this point that nearly any club in Europe could realistically enhance their squad by acquiring him. There is talk that Roma need to sell to balance their financial considerations, and if that’s the case, then Liverpool have stolen a march by stepping in and getting the deal done.

That’s Statsbomb’s summation of the deal. Check out that piece and you’ll see them deconstruct and virtually destroy every potential minefield in this deal, from Italy’s inferior reputation to Salah’s previous failure with Chelsea, coming to the conclusion that Salah could be the signing of the summer. And, as they allude to, this sale does nothing for Roma other than balance the books. This isn’t Napoli selling Higuain and immediately restocking with several assets, this is a pure Quickbooks sale.

Still, kudos to Monchi for reaping a potential €45 million from a rather sticky wicket. He had no other suitors, a player raring to leave and a firm June 30th deadline. Every possible odd was stacked against Poppa Monchi and yet he only fell five million short of his initial valuation.

Now we turn to the further agonizing part, how in the world will Roma replace his production?