Spartak Moscow boss Murat Yakin says he is willing to 'beg' Chelsea to let him sign for Mohamed Salah in the January transfer window.
The Egyptian international, who signed for the Blues less than a year ago in deal worth around £11 million from Basel, has fallen well down the pecking order at Stamford Bridge and is yet to start a Premier League game this term.
It has been suggested that the former Basel ace could be on the way out of Chelsea in the January window, although Jose Mourinho has insisted he won't be looking to let any players leave in the new year in order to keep his squad in tact for a title push.
However Salah's former boss at Basel Yakin wants to try and test Chelsea's resolve with a bid in the January window - and says it's not beneath him to beg the Blues in order to let the 22-year-old leave.
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"I want to sign both Salah and Fabian Frei (still at Basel). I know both players well," he said.
"I know the economic situation in Russia is not the best, but the club can afford both players' wages. The club president promised a surprise in the upcoming transfer market. I spoke with him about both Salah and Frei and I hope it will happen, that'd be my Christmas present.
"I'll do whatever it takes to get Salah in the team, even if I have to beg for it."
Chelsea are likely to be inactive during the January window having spent big on the likes of Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa over the summer. They look in good shape as things stand going into their last game before Christmas this evening - they take on Stoke hoping to secure top spot from Manchester City.
Speaking ahead of that game, Mourinho admitted he can understand the frustration of the likes of Salah as they look for more game time, but the Special One says he expects a level of professionalism from his players.
It’s not a difficult situation for me,” said Mourinho. “I’m very club, team, team, club, group. I think everybody has to be ready to sacrifice for the team, to give everything for the team, to think about the team, not to be selfish. This is the way I want a team to be.
“Look at Mikel. The first time he played was Newcastle and he was our best player. How can he be our best player if he didn’t play in three months? Because he was working every day at the top level. Sad, frustrated, not happy? Maybe. But professional. That’s what I expect from the players.
“If they are not involved I don’t have a secret to keeping them happy. They are unhappy and frustrated, and need to be patient, but the reality is that, to be successful and work at a high level, you don’t need to be happy. All of them are professionals.
"The team is more important than individuals. Mark Schwarzer hasn’t played a second, but if he has to play tomorrow he would because he’s ready. He’s trained very well. We may have a secret to make them work every day at a high level, but no secret to keep them happy.”