Fiorentina co-owner Andrea Della Valle has warned his Serie A rivals AS Roma that their pursuit of Chelsea star Mohamed Salah is likely to fail as the player is currently contracted to his club. It is the latest development in the tug-of-war over Salah that leaves his immediate future in serious doubt.
Chelsea have been attempting to sell the Egyptian winger all summer but have found themselves in the middle of a legal battle involving Salah and the Florence outfit. Salah spent the second half of last season playing for Fiorentina and thoroughly impressed.
Having already activated a clause that would allow them to extend the loan deal for the whole of the upcoming season, the Viola expected the 23-year-old to report for pre-season training, but he failed to show.
SUBMIT AN ARTICLE
Apply to become a GMS writer by signing up and submitting a 250 word test article: http://gms.to/haveyoursay5
Salah instead looked to use his increased reputation to seal a move to a bigger club. It mattered little to Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho, who just wanted to make sure he did not return to Stamford Bridge to take up valuable squad space.
Hearing of his decision, Chelsea quickly agreed a loan deal with AS Roma reported to be worth an initial fee of £1.4million loan fee with a buy-out figure of £16m. However, Fiorentina are not ready to accept defeat and have even launched a legal challenge against Salah.
"The player was persuaded into agreeing to this action by his agent"
Exercising their rights
Now Della Valle has warned AS Roma not to go through with the deal as Salah is currently tied to a contract with his club.
"We have a contract in our possession that we will exercise," he told Corriere dello Sport when asked about Salah. "The player was persuaded into agreeing to this action by his agent."
These fresh comments had followed a claim from Della Valle that he had a team of lawyers already working to solve the issue.
"We are saddened, he is a nice guy who is mismanaged by his agent," he said. "I see that other clubs are going to London to try to get him. We will do the same and we will speak with Chelsea.
What this means for Chelsea
For Salah, a return to Fiorentina is unlikely to happen. His position with the Viola is untenable and no one can force the player to go somewhere he does not want to go. However, should he be found guilty of a breach of contract, he find himself paying a hefty compensation fee to Fiorentina.
For Chelsea, it is just a pain in the backside. They thought their luck was in when their unwanted star lit up Serie A, giving them a terrific chance to make a profit on a player who flopped in the Premier League. However, the longer the situation goes on for, the more Chelsea are likely to lose.
Could Mohamed Salah be a success if he returned to Chelsea this season? Give us YOUR thoughts in the comment box below!