Roma’s owner has claimed he had offered to buy lunch for Liverpool owner – John W Henry who was bitching because he thought the Reds had “overpaid” for Mohamed Salah.
The Egyptian has enjoyed a stellar debut season at Anfield following his £35m move from Roma.
Salah who was named 2017 Africa footballer of the year in January was on Sunday named the PFA player of the year having scored 41 goals in all competition in historic campaign.
He faces his former club for the first time on Tuesday night in the Champions League semi-final first leg.
And ahead of the showdown, Roma chief James Pallotta says the Serie A club had little choice but to sell Salah – but Reds owner John W Henry wasn’t convinced it was a great deal, reports the Liverpool Echo.
“Well, when you look at it now, you can say it’s an unbelievable bargain. The issue at the time was that when [director of football] Monchi came in, Salah wanted to leave, he had a year left on his contract so in another year you’d get nothing,” he told ESPN.
“He wanted to go back [to the Premier League] and prove himself, which he certainly has done. We can’t tell you that anybody else was calling for Salah at anywhere near that kind of price, so there’s a lot of teams that have missed out on the great play he’s had this year.
“I told him (Henry) that because he was sort of bitching a little about, “Did we overpay? I think we overpaid,” and I said “I’ll buy you lunch.”
Asked if he had been surprised by Salah’s form, he said: “ Honestly, yes. And the reason is probably because look, we utilized him differently than Liverpool have. They figured out the best way to utilize him.
“At the time, we had him as a winger and you got (Edin) Dzeko in the middle and Dzeko’s scoring 36 goals himself last year, so it’s not like we didn’t have someone in there tearing up the league last year.
“So with Dzeko there it changed a lot of how Salah would be used, and they figured out how to use him a little differently and he’s much more in the middle it seems like.
“Where I’m surprised, is how great he’s finishing. I mean I think he would say that in Rome, while he had a bunch of goals, his frustration was not finishing the same way and now you get the ball near his feet and it just seems like he’s figured a way to put it in the net.
“Do they have bigger nets in the Premier League? It’s just been amazing watching him and every time he scores I’m like, “Oh dear God!”
The Roma chairman admitted he will not be coming to Anfield to watch the first leg of the semi final on Tuesday.
He added: “I have my superstitions. I mean I didn’t go to the last game in this round in Barcelona and then went to the home game and so I kind of keep doing those same things.
It’s just always stuff like that happens that I have.
“If I go back to the days playing basketball, from high school and on, I would put my left sock on first then my right, my left shoe then my right, tie my left shoe then tie my right.
“If my right shoe came undone, then I’d have to go back and untie my left, retie that one, do the right, so you know, I’ve got these little quirks.
“There’s an Italian restaurant in London that Franco Baldini and a few of us have watched games in the past so we’ll be upstairs in one of those.”