In Mo Salah’s new biography, it’s revealed that an agreement was in place for the Egyptian star to sign for Newcastle in 2011 – only for the deal to collapse after we refused to pay a £500,000 loan fee.
It is yet another transfer deal NUFC scrimped on and paid the price, joining the likes of Lacazette and Aubameyang.
For Salah, he probably dodged a bullet by not signing for Newcastle in the Ashley era, especially in 2011 with Pardew at the helm, who likely would have tried to play him at left back!
Stories like this are symptomatic of the Ashley era – penny pinching and a chronic lack of investment. Salah is worth perhaps near £150m in the current market, half of the asking price Ashley values the club at. Yet we wouldn’t pay a £500k loan fee; with the worst part being that we clearly don’t learn our lesson.
Fast forward 7/8 years and current manager Rafa Benitez is scrapping around the loan market for reinforcements, with the only one that looked likely in Jordan Lukaku, falling apart due to a ‘failed medical.’ He has struggled with injuries but as Rafa said, we knew this before flying him to Tyneside, a far more likely alternative is us once again not wanting to pay the commercials required. Meanwhile, Salah will be focusing on driving Liverpool to the title, while we wonder what might have been!