Despite Mohamed Salah getting one more run-out in Chelsea’s eventual shock loss to Bradford City in the FA Cup, it appeared he was all but out the door, with Roma calling for his services.
Unfortunately, just before the papers were signed, Roma director of football Walter Sabatini has had a change of heart, and while he hasn’t killed the deal, he is pondering his options, according to David Amoyal of Gianluca di Marzio.
According to the report, Roma is now looking to sign Shakhtar Donetsk striker Luiz Adriano. Because of Serie A rules about signing non-EU players, Roma is only able to sign either the Brazilian Adriano or the Egyptian Salah, not both. So while Sabatini talks to Shakhtar and makes up his mind, the Salah deal sits on his desk unsigned.
Because of his indecision, Chelsea has begun to discuss things with other clubs, including Fiorentina, who have expressed interest in building a deal around Juan Cuadrado and involving Salah as well. Chelsea have coveted the Colombian midfielder, and have worked to bring him to Stamford Bridge this winter. While things have proven unfruitful between Chelsea and Fiorentina so far, there could be a starting point with Salah.
Another interested party, according to Amoyal, is Atletico Madrid who reportedly tried to sign the Egyptian before his move to Chelsea a year ago.
Unless one of these clubs makes a serious play, it appears the onus is on Sabatini to make his decision one which player the club wants to heavily pursue and eventually close.
The deal for Luiz Adriano probably makes more sense from a squad standpoint. Francesco Totti, at 38 years old, can’t play like a legend forever, Marco Borriello is 32 and hasn’t done a thing this year, and Mattia Destro has reportedly worn out his welcome at Roma and has plenty of suitors ready to snatch up his contract. Meanwhile, the squad is stacked with wingers, with the likes of Gervinho, Juan Iturbe, Adam Ljajic, and Alessandro Florenzi all blocking Salah’s path to more playing time.