Everybody knows I bought 'fantastic boy' Salah – Mourinho
Jose Mourinho has defended himself from criticism relating to Chelsea's decision to sell Mohamed Salah, pointing to the fact he brought him to English football in the first place.
Salah has enjoyed a remarkable first campaign at Liverpool having signed from Roma in pre-season, taking his tally to 43 for the season when he scored twice against his former club in the Champions League semi-final first leg on Tuesday.
A prolific Premier League campaign has yielded 31 goals, meaning he has equalled the record for the biggest haul in a single 38-match season.
It is not his first taste of English football, however, as he previously signed for Chelsea in 2014, before being allowed to leave on a permanent deal to Roma two years later.
Both Chelsea and Mourinho have come in for criticism because of Salah's subsequent success at Liverpool, but the Portuguese manager, who insisted in a recent interview that he had nothing to do with the Egyptian's sale, reminded reporters he spotted the winger.
"It's easier for you to say negative things about me and not positive things," said the Manchester United boss ahead of Sunday's meeting with Arsenal.
"Everybody knows I bought Salah. I was at Chelsea, he was at Basel and I am responsible for the players I bring to the clubs and he came to the club in my period.
"I was the person that, obviously with Chelsea's agreement – the board, the owner, people responsible for finance – but by the technical point of view I was the person who brought Salah to the country
"We played against Basel, he played against me. Before I play matches, especially international matches, I spend a lot of time analysing the opposition I don't know as well.
"I watched and I told the club to buy that fantastic young player. You know that, but you prefer to say negative things and not the positive things, this is the reality.
"He was not playing a lot and that is my responsibility as a coach and we decided with him it was better to have a loan period to play, to grow up, to become stronger.
"Internally again with the board and technical director, we thought Italian football could be good for him to develop. He went to Fiorentina, after that I left and I am not responsible for the process.
"But just to end, as I am not comfortable speaking about a Liverpool player, credit to him, Jurgen [Klopp, Liverpool manager], the team and I am very, very, very happy for him, that's why we keep a good relation.
"He's a fantastic boy and he knows I have a great care for him and I'm really happy for the things that are happening for him. He more than deserved the player of the year [award]."