Liverpool's indecision during their negotiations with Mohamed Salah and FC Basel allowed Chelsea to beat them to the winger's signature, according to the player's agent.
Brendan Rodgers' loss was Jose Mourinho's gain as Chelsea secured a deal for the 21-year-old ahead of their Premier League rivals, bringing the Egypt international to Stamford Bridge in a deal worth an initial £11.5m.
Liverpool had been in talks with Basel and the player for some time and had been widely tipped by Salah's former teammates, managers and the press to conclude a deal before the closure of the January transfer window.
But Liverpool's posturing allowed the Blues to swoop in and seal a deal for Salah within a couple of days and the starlet's agent Sascha Empacher insists The Reds only have themselves to blame.
"It was a long and fair negotiation with Liverpool, but it lasted two and a half months – too long," Empacher was quoted as saying in the Mirror.
"Both clubs could not agree on terms. When Chelsea contacted Basel, he was happy and took his chance. It was not a financial matter."
Liverpool are now unlikely to make any additions to their squad before Friday's transfer deadline after Rodgers admitted there was nothing imminent in regard to transfers during a press conference on Monday.
Despite claims from Salah's agent that his client's move to Chelsea was not financially driven, the Reds manager suggested that wasn't case, telling reporters: "It was deemed in this case that we couldn't do a deal and Chelsea could."
To further confuse matters, Liverpool's managing director Ian Ayre appeared to suggest Salah's decision was for footballing reasons as the club were prepared to back any move for a player Rodgers identified as an improvement on his current options.
"We haven't been held back from concluding a deal by finances. The player decided he didn't want to come to Liverpool," Ayre said.
"We will always compete for players and we know how far we are prepared to go. That's something Brendan Rodgers, myself and the other people involved in pursuing transfers discuss openly.
"We won't overpay for players, but when the right player is available for the right deal and wants to come here, they will come here. When it comes to transfers you win some and you lose some, but it won't be for a lack of ambition on our part."
Salah was brought to Chelsea to help supplement the loss of Juan Mata but has not yet arrived in England to join up with his new teammates ahead of Chelsea's clash with West Ham United on Wednesday.