Mourinho confident Chelsea will beat Liverpool in Salah race
Jose Mourinho said Friday he expected Chelsea to quickly conclude the transfer of Mohamed Salah from Basel despite continuing interest from Liverpool in the Egypt international.
Chelsea and Basel have agreed terms for a deal, thought to be worth around �11 million ($18m, 13.2m euro) with the player due to undergo a medical in Switzerland.
Salah had been expected to move to Anfield but Mourinho revealed Chelsea's interest in the player stepped up once they had agreed to sell Juan Mata to Manchester United.
And the manager insisted he has received assurances from Salah he wants to move to Stamford Bridge.
"Everything is signed and done with the club, subject to the medical that he hasn't had yet and subject to the player's desire to join us or not," Mourinho told a news conference at Chelsea's Cobham training ground, south of London, on Friday.
"Now we know he wants (to join us) and is happy his club has an agreement with Chelsea, we have to finalise it or not," the Portuguese explained.
Mourinho said the 21-year-old would have no problems adjusting to Chelsea's style.
"I like the fact that he can play the same way our attacking players do, which is players with adaptability to play right, left or behind the striker in the model we have with normally one striker and three behind the striker.
"He's young like our players in that area. He's fast, creative, enthusiastic. When we analyse him he looks the kind of humble personality on the pitch, ready to work for the team and adapt to a new life.
"We believe if he comes that he will have a similar process to the Willian one, because he needed two or three months to grow up and feel comfortable playing for us in the way we do."
Salah attracted attention following allegations he refused to shake hands with players from Maccabi Tel Aviv, seemingly as an anti-Israel protest, before a Champions League tie.
Chelsea's Russian billionaire owner Roman Abramovich is Jewish but Mourinho said there was no reason why Salah's reported conduct should blight his career at Stamford Bridge.
"It's not a concern. We know the club Chelsea is. I know the manager I am. I know that Chelsea is capable of helping people and making people feel the way we think they should feel, which is, in football and life, be open and respectful to every ethnicity, every religion.
"People have the right to be what they are. We think Chelsea as a club, and me as a manager, will be more than ready to help him.
"We analysed the situation, spoke with the player and his people, and the situation put in front of him at 20-years-old was not an easy situation to resolve.
"He tried to do it where he was trying to find some balance -- not enough for us, obviously, but no problems with this club.
"We know which owner we have and the variety of players we have, so this is a fantastic club to support a young boy."
Meanwhile Mourinho admitted Michael Essien would be allowed to leave the club if the Ghana midfielder wants to pursue a loan switch to AC Milan.
"Michael Essien is, in this moment, in a position where he can go or he can stay. If he stays we're more than happy he stays.
"But he's another player who gave everything to this club and, if a great situation for him arrives, for his future or to give him a chance to go to the World Cup with more years of contract and a career at the high level, the same way Chelsea let him go to Madrid when I was there."