The chairman of Roma James Pallotta sat down with ESPN FC to discuss a range of topics ahead of the club's huge Champions League semi-final encounter with Liverpool, including man of the moment Mohamed Salah.

The Egyptian left the Italian side to join the Reds last summer and has enjoyed a truly special first season at Anfield, scoring 41 goals so far in all competitions and winning the PFA Player of the Year award this past weekend.


He needs just one more Premier League goal to become the highest-ever scorer in a single season since its inception in 1992, and seven more to equal Ian Rush's record tally of strikes for the club in one season.

Eyebrows were raised when his transfer was completed last summer given his previous stint at Chelsea, and Pallotta has claimed Liverpool owner John W. Henry was left 'bitching' because he thought he'd overpaid for Salah at £37m.

When asked by ESPN if the English club had got themselves a bargain, he said: "When you look at it now you could say: 'unbelievable bargain'. The issue at the time was that Salah wanted to leave, he had a year left on his contract so in another year you get nothing. He wanted to go back and prove himself back in the Premier League.

"I told him that because he was sort of bitching a little about, 'Did we overpay? I think we overpaid', and I said 'I'll buy you lunch'."

The American billionaire businessman, who won't be attending the first leg due to an ongoing superstition he has, admits it's painful to see Salah doing so well in England.

He joked: "Where I'm surprised is how great he's finishing. Do they have bigger nets in the Premier League? it's just been amazing watching him. And every time he scores I'm like 'Oh my God'."

Liverpool are favourites to win the game on Tuesday but will certainly have to have their wits about them against a side who clearly struggle to know when they're beaten.