Jose Mourinho has defended his decision to allow Mohamed Salah to leave Chelsea in 2014, claiming he “wasn’t physically prepared” for the Premier League.
Salah joined the Blues in 2013 and scored two goals in 13 league appearances, including the final goal in Mourinho’s team’s 6-0 win over Arsenal in March 2014.
He was loaned to Fiorentina before being sold to Roma in 2016, where he earned his reputation as a reliable goalscorer in Serie A.
Mourinho has since come under scrutiny for allowing the Egyptian to leave, especially since the sensational goalscoring form that saw Salah score 44 goals for Liverpool as the Reds reached the Champions League final last season.
Mourinho, who was sacked by Chelsea in 2015 just months after winning a third league title with the club, told BeIN Sports: “I asked Chelsea to sign Mohamed Salah, he was inexperienced and not prepared physically to adapt to the style of play in Premier league.
“Now, he is physically and mentally strong and well adapted to Premier League because he went to Italy and gained experience.
“He is a wonderful person and I wanted him to stay at Chelsea but he was looking for more minutes.”
Discussing events at his former club, the Portuguese was full of praise for Blues boss Maurizio Sarri over his handling of the fall-out from the Carabao Cup final defeat to Manchester City.
Sarri made the decision to leave goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga out of his team for the win against Tottenham on Wednesday night after the Spaniard refused to be substituted during the Wembley showpiece.
“If Chelsea had lost the game against Tottenham and Kepa was out, Sarri would have been in a big trouble,” said Mourinho. “He handled the situation very well.
“It was just a misunderstanding, Sarri clarified the whole thing and Kepa apologized, the goalkeeper does not like to make a scene and the reaction of Sarri during the game made thing look ugly.”
“I am happy, Chelsea won against Tottenham because that result brought stability to their dressing room.”
Addressing his future following his sacking by Manchester United in December last year, Mourinho said: “I do not think I will coach a national team.
“It needs a lot of work and you have couple of trainings every month and you have specific task that you have to achieve, and if you fail, you will retire. I do not want this for now.”
By Robert O'Connor
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