Chelsea might have managed to annoy Liverpool (well done Chelsea) in their pursuit and eventual signing of former Basel winger Mohamed Salah, but their relationship with the Swiss club is considerably less frosty -- their chairman, Bernhard Heusler, has talked up the Blues following the conclusion of the deal:
When one of the five most important clubs in the world offers a big contract to one of our players and a considerable offer to the club, saying no isn't realistic. We haven't sold Salah because we needed the money; only to let him realise his dream of playing for one of the best clubs in the Premier League.
There have been numerous contacts with European clubs, but none as clear and decisive as Chelsea. We would have preferred to keep Salah until the end of the season, but now he's gone and we can't rely on his goals, we'll work to find alternatives.
This might not seem like particularly big news, but Basel has served as a major talent hotbed for the past couple of years, furnishing the likes of Xhedran Shaqiri and Granit Xhaka to the Bundesliga as well as nurturing Salah. Staying on their good side in negotiations may well prove important in the future.
Also of note is the 'clear and decisive' tag -- as pointed out by Jose Mourinho on Friday, Chelsea didn't muck about with the transfer, and they've tended to make a habit of pulling surprise deals out of hats over the past few years. Just because it sounds like there's nothing going on and they say nothing's going on doesn't mean we might not get something done under the radar before the end of the month.
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