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Mohamed Salah linked to Tottenham in spurious rumor that won't happen

Numerous reports have Tottenham Hotspur making a play to sign midfielder Mohamed Salah this summer. Here's why it won't happen.

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Numerous British papers including the Mirror are reporting that Tottenham Hotspur are mulling over a move for Chelsea winger Mohamed Salah when the summer transfer window opens in July. It's not difficult to see why. Mo Salah is a good footballer. The Egyptian winger, currently on loan at Fiorentina, is fast, tricky, and scores goals, and he would be an asset to any number of Premier League clubs, including Tottenham. But this rumor is almost certainly 100% bogus.

Salah to Spurs is an easy connection to make: if you recall, Salah absolutely torched Spurs in the Europa League a few years back, and he also played well this season in Tottenham's two-legged loss to Fiorentina. His performances against Spurs are no doubt the reason he began to be linked to Tottenham in the first place. Salah is a right-sided midfielder who can pinch in from the wing or play up top as an inside forward, and his pace and goal-scoring ability are the major reasons why Chelsea snatched him up (presumably via the loose change floating in Roman Abramovitch's pockets) for £11m in 2013. He's the kind of young player that Chelsea loves to snap up and flip for a quick profit, which seems to be exactly what they're doing with Salah, since they clearly have no intention of playing him in any meaningful matches.

So sure, Salah is a natural player to connect to Tottenham Hotspur, a team that needs a splash of excitement on its flank. He'd even be a pretty good signing for Spurs. The problem is, he's almost certainly unavailable.

The Telegraph reported in April that Fiorentina had exercised a clause in its loan contract with Chelsea to extend Salah's loan with La Viola for an additional season. Curious, I asked the folks over at Viola Nation, SB Nation's Fiorentina blog. They told me that the loan extension has not been officially confirmed, but only because Fiorentina is exploring the possibility of buying Salah outright this summer. If the loan is extended, at the end of next year the Italian club has the option to buy Salah outright for £18m, a tidy profit for a player that Chelsea never intended to use anyway. Either way, he's apparently quite happy in Italy and the chances of him moving to Tottenham are virtually nil.

Even if Spurs were to out-bid Fiorentina for Salah's services, there's the whole Chelsea-Won't-Sell-To-Spurs thing that is apparently a holdover from the Luka Modric saga. It's not hard to see why, unless Chelsea gets a boatload of money, they won't bother selling a decent player to a league rival, even if the sale of Salah to Spurs wouldn't strengthen them to the point where they'd be challenging Chelsea for future titles. Daniel Levy doesn't (usually) spend boatloads of money for players, and it's unlikely that he'll do so in this case either. And selling Salah to Fiorentina will almost certainly not come back to bite Chelsea on the ass in the future.

I trust the Telegraph more than the Mirror when it comes to transfer rumors, and it's likely that someone at Chelsea vetted the information about Salah's loan extension before the article was printed. Tottenham may indeed have been tracking the progress of Salah – I would if I were Paul Mitchell – but I think the tea leaves are pretty clear in this case. Mo Salah will almost certainly be at Fiorentina again next season, either on loan or as a permanent signing. Either way, he's not coming to Tottenham, so we don't need to spend the time thinking too much about it.