Liverpool midfielder Javier Mascherano wants Rafa Benítez to
sign his friend and countryman Carlos Tevez from West Ham. Tevez has been
linked with most of the big clubs in recent months at fees that vary every
time. In recent days he's spoken about how he would prefer to move to Inter
Milan rather than Real Madrid. For some reason he cited language problems as
his reason for this preference, ignoring the fact Real are a Spanish-speaking
club in Spain because of the number of Argentineans at Inter.
Mascherano is currently on international duty with Tevez in
the Copa America tournament, reunited with his former West Ham team-mate, and
he told the Daily Star: "It would be nice to play with Carlos again, right now
we are together in the Copa America and it's great. We'll see what is going to
happen before the start of next season."
Despite Javier's conviction that Tevez would be a good
signing, he was quick to point out that it's not his decision: "Carlos is a
great player and he could be very useful to Liverpool in my opinion, but the
truth is that I would never dare to ask Rafa Benitez or any other coach to
bring a player to a club. If he asked me, I would tell him my opinion, but
that's the only context in which I would tell him what I think."
The issue of the ownership of Tevez is still the subject of some
debate, although West Ham insist they do now own him outright. Whoever owns
him, he won't come cheap, and Liverpool seem to be focussing on Fernando Torres
of Atletico Madrid. Luis Garcia has been named as a possible part of any deal
to bring Torres over from Spain, and in a TV interview yesterday he admitted he'd
like to go back to Spain one day, and considered a move to Atletico to be a
good one: "Liverpool are in my thoughts at the moment, but one day I would like
to come back, and not to Barcelona, but to Atletico Madrid, who are always in
Torres has a release clause in his contract which would
force Atletico's hand and leave them with no option but to allow the player to
talk directly to Liverpool. It seems that Atletico have accepted Torres needs
to leave so he can play Champions League football and further his career.
Torres is believed to have accepted the same. But Torres is a massive hero to
the Atletico fans, a couple of hundred of whom protested yesterday about the
possible sale of the forward. So nobody actually wants to admit it was their
idea for Torres to leave!
Atletico's major shareholder, Gil Marin, seemed to be paving
the way for the sale of the club captain yesterday when he said: "Nobody is indispensable.
We are trying to create a competitive team and no player by himself, very good
though he is, is able to make a team achieve its aims. Atletico are building a
team that does not revolve around Fernando Torres but around the team as a
whole. I would be delighted if Fernando was to continue here, but the future is
going to be decided by Fernando himself."
So Marin puts the ball into Fernando's court, then hints
that the player has been expressing his feelings about wanting to go: "We have
spoken to him and told him we would like him to stay. It is normal that he has
doubts. It is normal that the offers and everything surrounding them has made
him think. Torres knows that Atletico want him and if Fernando wants to
continue at Atletico, he is going to continue."
Another reported stumbling block was a pay-off built into
the player's contract which would give him 10% of any transfer fee, and that Atletico
were demanding Liverpool pay that 10%. This is unlikely to have been the case because
that clause is part of the contract between the player and his current club.
However Atletico may have demanded Torres wave this entitlement.