Jose Mourinho has revealed that he fell in love with Mohamed Salah before signing the Egyptian for Chelsea in 2014, and insisted it was the club's decision to sell the current Liverpool superstar, not his.
Salah failed to get his Blues career off the ground after joining from Basel, playing just 13 Premier League games before leaving for Italy. In his first season back in England last term for the Reds, he scored 44 goals in 52 games.
"Let me start with Salah because lots of things have been told that are not true," Mourinho said on beIN Sports, according to ESPN's Mark Ogden.
"People try to identify me as the coach that sold Salah. I am the coach that bought Salah, so it is completely the wrong idea. I played against Basel in the Champions League and Salah was a kid in Basel. When I play against a certain team, I analyze the players for a long time and I fell in love with that kid.
"I bought the kid, I pushed the club to buy him and we already had fantastic attacking players like (Eden) Hazard, Willian. Top talent, but I told them to buy that kid."
Mourinho went on to explain that Salah became a "lost kid in London" while with Chelsea, which led to him being shipped out on loan to Fiorentina in an attempt to help him find his form and kickstart his career.
While the narrative since Salah's rise to prominence has been that Mourinho cast aside the attacker, he insisted that was not the case.
"Fiorentina had no pressure to win a title, but when the club decided to sell him, it was not me," the Portuguese boss explained. "But I bought him, not sell him, and my relationship with him was good."