0747 GMT April 08, 2020
Salah joined Chelsea under Mourinho in 2014 but failed to establish himself at Stamford Bridge and was loaned out to Fiorentina and Roma before a permanent move to the Stadio Olimpico outfit in 2016, Reuters reported.
The 25-year-old returned to the Premier League with Liverpool this season and has excelled, scoring 31 goals in 33 matches to win the Professional Footballers’ Association’s Player of the Year award.
“People say that I was the one that sold Salah and it is the opposite,” Mourinho, who currently manages Manchester United, told ESPN.
“I was the one that bought Salah. I was the one that told Chelsea to buy Salah... But he came as a young kid, physically he was not ready, mentally he was not ready, socially and culturally he was lost and everything was tough for him.
“Chelsea decided to sell him, OK? ... So the decision to send him on loan was a decision we made collectively, but after that, the decision to sell him and to use that money to buy another player wasn’t mine.”
Salah has scored 43 goals across all competitions this season and is in contention to win the European Golden Boot.
“I think everything has surprised even him. It has been fantastic,” Mourinho added.
“But he is a great player that has reached the peak of maturity, he has already lived several other experiences and now has fitted perfectly into the style of play of the team, of the coach and of the club as well.”
Liverpool is currently third in the league and in prime position to reach the Champions League final, after a 5-2 win in the first leg of their semifinal against Roma.
The side returns to league action when the Reds host Stoke City on Saturday while Mourinho’s United host Arsenal a day later.