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Inter Milan and Fiorentina battle over Salah

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With Salah determined to leave Fiorentina for another club, Fiorentina director Panerai has lashed out toward Inter and both sides are threatening legal action.

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For quite some time Inter have been looking into wingers to suit Mancini's system and one of those being pursued has been Mohamed Salah. The winger is a Chelsea player who spent the second half of the season on loan at Fiorentina. After having a successful time, the Italian club had the option to extend his loan for another season, but news emerged that Salah had a veto option if he wanted to either return to Chelsea for next season or be loaned out somewhere else. With Fiorentina not just wanting to keep him on loan but wanting to sign him permanently, the club offered him what they regarded to be an "insane offer". They expected him to accept this contract, but he refused.

Not only did Salah refuse the offer, he made it clear that he wanted to join another club in Italy. Media outlets were reporting that Inter was the main club that was causing Salah's eyes to wander. Mancini did not help the situation when during Friday's press conference he joked that he did not call Salah because his phone "ran out of credit", speaking in reference to all of the phone calls that he has been making to convince players to join his Inter project.

La Viola were not very happy about this turn of events and insisted that Salah had missed his deadline to refuse Fiorentina. They paid Chelsea the €1m previously agreed to in order to extend his loan for another season. They also ordered him to attend their preseason camp (which he promptly refused to do) and are now threatening him with legal action.

The club has also turned its attention towards Inter. First, the club is threatening to invoke Article 18, Paragraph 3 of the Regulation on the Status and Transfer of Players of the FIGC (which essentially states that if a team wants to contact a player about joining their side they must inform the club that owns the player in writing first). Given that Mancini has been pretty vocal about his pursuit of certain players and admitting to personally calling them, the club should have reached out to others to protect the club from being penalized.

Since Fiorentina is threatening to take Inter to the FIGC, they must believe they do have a case and that Inter did not contact them before talking to Salah (either that or they are just bluffing in order to get Inter to back off the Egyptian international). Even if Inter did not talk to Fiorentina first, they would still possibly have a defense at hand. The statute Fiorentina are using states that the club must contact the club that owns the player. That is not Fiorentina, that is Chelsea so as long as Inter reached out to Chelsea before talking to Salah the argument could be made that the club did not violate that statue.

After all of this, Fiorentina director and vice president Paolo Panerai wrote a series of tweets attacking the transfer methods of the Nerazzurri this summer. He started by asking Italian Olympic Committee President Giovanni Malagò to relegate Inter due to a "lack of transparency" from where the club is getting the money to sign players this summer. Inter responded sternly on the club's official website, stating "It is not acceptable for anybody to talk out of turn about our club, casting doubt over its solidity and transparency. It is not acceptable for anybody to offend our club and, as a consequence, our fans, with comments that are utterly lacking in foundation." The statement ended with the club warning that it would take legal action if necessary to defend its image and integrity.

Panerai stood by his comments in a second tweet, continuing to demand that Inter release its financial statements in regards to its current transfer activity. Fiorentina responded to these tweets by releasing an official statement of its own stating that the comments made by Panerai are his personal opinion and are not those of the club. All of this happened while news was breaking that Inter had made an official bid of €20m to Chelsea in order to outright buy Salah.

Whether Inter end up bringing Salah to the club or not, this is an unfortunate protracted event that has done both clubs more harm than good and destroyed most (if not all) good ties between the clubs. Hopefully this can all be resolved in the near future.