Garcia not leaving, Nando deal not yet complete

Liverpool boss Rafael Benítez says that Luis Garcia won’t be joining compatriot Fernando Morientes in moving back home to Spain. Rumours in the press have linked him with a move away from Anfield, claiming he’s not happy with life in England, but according to Rafa, the little attacking midfielder is happy and part of the club’s plans: “I’m really happy with Luis and I know he is happy at Liverpool. He is an important player for us and he is still part of our plans. If people are saying he isn’t settled here it’s not true. He’s scored a lot of important goals for us and he wants to continue to score goals and play well for us in the future.”

Nando’s move to Valencia was suddenly in doubt late this afternoon when the Spanish side claimed that although they had agreed a deal with Liverpool, they were yet to finalise details of the terms with the player himself. The Valencia sports director Amedeo Carboni told Europa that, “At the moment we cannot say he has signed or that he is a Valencia player. I don’t think there will be problems but we haven’t reached an agreement with the player yet. We don’t want to hide anything from anyone and will be the first to announce the news when it is finally closed.”

Whether there is a genuine hitch or not remains to be seen, but Rafa seemed pretty certain the player had left when he explained the events behind the decision to let the player go home: “He has contributed a lot since he joined us, but I spoke to him at the end of the season and we agreed if a good Spanish club was interested in him he could talk to them. Since he joined us he has been a good professional and helped the team a lot. He has played mainly as a second striker since he joined, which is a difficult position and you must do a lot of hard work to create a lot of space for other forwards.”

He said the other players at the club found Nando a great player to partner: “If you speak to the other strikers, they will all tell you how they liked working alongside him. Fernando always tried hard in this position and maybe he didn’t always get the credit he deserved for his work. He joined Liverpool at an important time and played a key role to us. He’s helped a lot of the other players with his attitude and professionalism.”

It seems Nando was a perfect professional during his short stay: “He joined us as a big star, but his attitude was always good.”