Striker latest: Flo is staying

We reported last night on stories that Liverpool were about to let Florent Sinama-Pongolle move to Lyon. We can now happily report that the player is set to stay.

What seems to have happened is that Flo was approached by former Reds boss Gerard Houllier, and the Frenchman turned the youngster’s head. Already on a downer due to his cruciate ligament injury, and then denied a European Cup medal or a place on the open-top bus tour, Houllier looked to have convinced the player that a return to his homeland was the only option.

Flo told his team mates on Monday that the deal was pretty much done, and resigned himself to leaving Anfield.

On Tuesday night he made a second appearance for the reserves, once again impressing with an excellent goalscoring performance during the half of the game he played. The reserve team on Tuesday did not include any of the players that were included in Wednesday night’s Champions League squad – for example Potter who played last night and Barragan and Whitbread who were on the bench. Pongolle was not in that squad for Wednesday, and was called into the squad once Rafa got wind of what Houllier had done.

Rafa made clear to Flo that he wanted him to stay, called him into the squad and when the result on aggregate looked to be more of a certainty, played the youngster in the game and in turn cup-tied him.

After the game Flo looked very happy to have made his return to first team action, and told reporters who were only aware of interest from Aberdeen that he wanted to stay.

The original story from The Liverpool Way fanzine’s website came after they were told by one of their playing contacts that Flo was starting to say his goodbyes in light of the moves by Houllier. The same sources informed them that the French side’s boss had not actually agreed a deal with Liverpool

We’re pleased that Benitez has made this move, and in light of Lyon’s late offer for Milan Baros – at £1.5 million over the asking price – perhaps it’s time that Houllier was asked politely to stop speaking to his former players.