ROME (AFP) - As Roma sporting director Monchi conceded that Egyptian striker Mohamed Salah had been sold on the cheap to Liverpool for €40 million (S$65 million) before "the Neymar effect" transformed the market.
"To understand this sale you have to understand two things. Firstly, it was made before the Neymar effect which revolutionised the transfer market," Monchi said during a meeting with the foreign press in Rome on Wednesday.
Brazilian striker Neymar's world record €222 million move from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain last August started a chain reaction.
French forward Ousmane Dembele subsequently moved from Borussia Dortmund to Barcelona in a deal worth €145 million, with Brazilian Philippe Coutinho moving to Barcelona from Liverpool for €160 million in January.
"We also had to sell him (Salah) before June 30 (because of Financial Fair Play constraints)," Monchi continued.
"Those who know a little about business know that it's like having the Sword of Damocles over your head.
"So if we take these two elements into account I think that we made a correct sale.
"Now he's had a incredible season and with the effect of Neymar, Coutinho, Dembele, his value is without a doubt much more," added the former Sevilla sporting director.
Salah, 25, is the top scorer in the English Premier League with 28 goals in 30 matches. In total he has scored 36 in all competitions during his first season at Liverpool.
"He's very strong," continued Monchi.
"But it's amazing because he's returned to a league where he wasn't successful when he was at Chelsea.
"He found a coach, teammates who trust him, a team that suits him well, which corresponds to his style of play."