The torment of the summer appears to have finally drawn to a close today, as Mohamed Salah was unveiled as a new AS Roma player today via Roma twitter. Chelsea confirmed the move shortly after on their website.
Here is the official Chelsea statement:
Chelsea Football Club has agreed terms with AS Roma for the season-long loan of Mohamed Salah. The winger will spend the 2015/16 campaign on loan at the Stadio Olimpico and the agreement includes an option to purchase at any point during the season.
Salah arrived at Chelsea in January 2014, becoming the first Egyptian to play for the club. He scored twice in 19 appearances for the Blues before joining Fiorentina on loan in February, where he scored nine times in 26 games last season.
Of course, from the Fiorentina perspective the kicker (to the groin) is that Roma have gotten Salah on loan. The Viola weren't outspent in trying to make a deal, Salah didn't want to play in Florence. It's been 99% the player and his agent making this happen. We now know that Salah led the Fiorentina club management on a merry game of "ignore the phone call" behind Chelsea's back until well after the pre-set deadline to renew the loan, then scampered away in loud and frankly unkind fashion to a Champions League club that the Viola beat 3-0 in their most recent encounter.
From the Chelsea perspective, they are getting reasonably well remunerated in this deal, as Di Marzio reports that they will €5 million for the season-long loan, with a tentative outright purchase price set at €15 million, and I am sure that our friends over at We Ain't Got No History will just be glad to be done with the whole affair.
There has been extensive talk that the Viola will pursue legal action against this move since Salah never formally rejected the Fiorentina loan renewal, but so far that's only been talk, and this one looks pretty done and dusted; I for one will be the first to say "thank goodness." I am reasonably certain that if Salah plays in Florence when Roma roll into town, the whistles will be absolutely deafening, and it is hard to argue that he hasn't earned them.
If "Momo" had handled things a bit more transparently, maybe we could just fondly remember his absolutely amazing goals against Juventus and Inter, but as is, it's kind of gross that Salah and his agent are getting exactly what they wanted by behaving badly. Well, the whole thing has been kind of gross. Thankfully it's over. Onwards and upwards.