Fiorentina have threatened to take legal action against Mohamed Salah after the player informed them he did not wish to extend his loan from Chelsea for the forthcoming season, with Inter Milan having indicated a desire to bring the Egypt winger to San Siro.
Salah, an £11m signing from Basel in 2014, moved to Florence in January on a six-month temporary deal and duly revived his career in Serie A, scoring nine goals in 26 appearances. The Italian club, who had paid an initial loan fee to Chelsea, had an option in writing to extend the agreement for a further season ahead of a potential permanent transfer next summer, and duly exercised that clause by paying a further agreed fee.
With that in mind, both Fiorentina and Chelsea anticipated the winger spending a further 12 months at stadio Artemia Franchi. However, after weeks of haggling over personal terms, Salah’s agent, Ramy Abbas, informed Fiorentina on Thursday evening that he would not be returning to the club for the campaign ahead. That has left the Italians infuriated, particularly given they had apparently made him “an insane offer”, according to the director Vincenzo Guerini, believed to be around £2.1m-a-year plus bonuses to keep him out of Inter’s clutches.
The club made clear their exasperation in a statement released on their website on Friday afternoon.
“Through his representative, the player has rejected our improved contract offer and expressed his desire to join another club,” it read. “He has also informed us that he does not intend to respond to our request for him to report back for pre-season training. As a result of the above, we have placed the matter in the hands of our lawyers so that they may assess all possible courses of action in order to protect the club’s rights.”
Chelsea, whose preference is for Salah to return to Fiorentina, are currently monitoring the situation. As yet, it is understood they have not agreed a similar loan fee or permanent deal with Inter or the player’s other suitors, Roma and Juventus, having assumed the 23-year-old would simply be honouring the agreement put in place back in January.
Salah, who had excelled against Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur while with Basel, had failed to make an impact since moving to the Premier League and made only six starts in the Premier League before moving to Italy as part of the deal in which Juan Cuadrado switched to Stamford Bridge. He is effectively surplus to requirements at the Premier League champions.