Whenever not wearing Chelsea blue (or yellow), Mohamed Salah looks like a fairly useful and exciting player, one perhaps destined for pretty great things considering he's just 23. Whenever we do try to put him in a Chelsea shirt however, all that seems to disappear. It's like a magic hat, except it's a magic shirt, and it's evil magic instead of good.
So for now, after 12 months spent actually at Stamford Bridge, Salah should be staying out on loan. Considering the instant success he experienced at Fiorentina, the foregone conclusion had been that the Serie A contenders will take up their option for a full years' loan for next season and then possibly exercise their option to buy the winger in the following summer. The deadline for the option on the loan is supposedly June 30th (the official end of most contracts). And yet, Salah's future remains unsorted. And it would appear that the holdup is not just the murky coaching situation — Vincenzo Montella was fired and has since been replaced by former Portuguese international Paulo Sousa, who's made a habit of switching teams after just one season.
Reports in Italy today have claimed that there are financial motivations behind the still unresolved loan as well. While it's unsurprising that a football transfer would come down to financial considerations, it is somewhat unexpected in this case since we're talking about a loan. Gazzetta dello Sport claim that Salah wants a pay rise before committing to Fiorentina for another season. This would only make sense if Fiorentina were looking to buy; Salah's wages are set by his Chelsea contract at the moment, a certain percentage of which (perhaps even all of it) is most likely paid by the Italian club while on loan. So unless Fiorentina were to buy him, they can't just suddenly give him more money. And by all indications, Fiorentina are only looking to loan him once again.
Meanwhile, Gianluca Di Marzio reminds everybody that other teams could be interested in the player's services — Atlético Madrid, Roma, and the two Milan teams are mentioned — but were Salah to choose any of those options, Chelsea would be wanting to sell to the tune of €25m. The only loan we'd sanction is back to Fiorentina. Di Marzio does claim that Fiorentina have already exercised the €1m loan option, but Salah has yet to agree. Ten days left to figure it all out, before Salah gets stamped 'return to sender.'