IBTimes UK can exclusively reveal that Mohamed Salah wanted to move to Liverpool in January, but chose Chelsea because he felt the Reds disrespected him.
Salah, 21, eventually signed for Chelsea after appearing certain to move to Anfield - and IBT has contacted sources close to the deal to find out why he switched destination at the eleventh hour.
Sources close to the negotiations told us that Salah, his represenatives and selling club Basel were unimpressed when Liverpool made a low-ball initial offer. They believe the Anfield delegation only began taking the negotiations seriously when Jose Mourinho showed interest.
The Reds had made their first approach for Salah in early December, and the player immediately intimated his desire to move to Anfield, while Basel were happy to negotiate.
However, everything changed when Liverpool's officials launched a first offer lower than £8m. Our sources claim both "the Egyptian and the Swiss side considered that a real lack of respect" as they knew that the actual value of the player was far superior.
"Salah was disappointed with Liverpool", the source told IBTimes UK.
Liverpool cooled off on the negotiations because they wanted to force Basel's hand with the timing of the deal. Then, in early January, they launched a new offer, "which exceeded the previous but still was not enough to consider acceptable".
The Egyptian and his entourage were worried that Liverpool were not taking the deal seriously, while Bayer Leverkusen, Borussia Dortmund and Atletico Madrid showed interest in the player.
Salah immediately ruled out a move to either of the German sides as he did not like the Bundesliga, and although he was very attracted to the idea of moving to La Liga, Atletico manager Diego Simeone did not want to do the deal until the summer, while Salah was keen to move immediately.
Fearful that offers from other teams could tempt Salah, the Reds approached the player again. "Despite his initial disappointment, Salah was still dreaming about playing for Liverpool" IBT's source said.
However, the bid, around £11m, was once again too low for Basel.
Meanwhile, Chelsea decided to sell Juan Mata to Manchester United and Jose Mourinho asked his officials to sign Salah as a replacement for the Spaniard.
The Blues launched a bid to hijack Liverpool and "only then, knowing that they were set to suffer a huge setback, Liverpool made a serious offer" according to our source.
Yet, even after seeing so many low-ball offers knocked back, Liverpool came up with an offer far lower than that tendered by Chelsea (who bid more than £15m). Our source has confirmed that "Liverpool's last bid arrived to late and the Red's indecision collapsed the deal.
"Salah would be Liverpool player today if Liverpool had been serious and closed the deal in December. It would have been very easy then but after two month of unsuccessful negotiations Chelsea closed the signing in less than a week.
"The player preferred to play at Liverpool, as the competition for playing time would have been lower, but at the same time he is more than happy to be a Chelsea man."