Momo goes, but Mascherano set to stay

Rafa Benitez is now in profit for this transfer window following the sale of Mohamed Sissoko to Juventus for a reported €11m, or £8.2m. Momo flew to Italy briefly from international duty with Mali to undergo a medical and the rest of the formalities and the deal was confirmed today.

momo-goes.jpgMomo was an important member of the Liverpool squad in the early days of his Anfield career, but two major injuries, including the one that left him wearing special glasses on the pitch, saw him struggling to recapture his old form. Eventually we saw Momo struggling more and more and so starting fewer and fewer games, a vicious circle that frustrated the player enough to demand a transfer. He’d only signed a new deal last June, running until 2011.

Liverpool signed the midfielder from Rafa’s former club Valencia in the summer of 2005 for £5.6m. The transfer caused Everton manager David Moyes a lot of grief from his own supporters after he’d announced publicly that his own move to sign the player was all but done. This announcement alerted Rafa to the availability of a player he both rated and had worked with before and he stepped in and hijacked Moyes’ deal.

Momo told Juve’s TV channel of his delight at joining the Italian club: “I’m happy to have joined such an important club; this move certainly constitutes a step forward in my career. I feel very excited to think about the possibility of playing with great players such as Buffon and Del Piero and to work under Ranieri, a great coach who I already know from my time at Valencia.”

Juve director Jean-Claude Blanc said: “He is an important element in the strengthening of our squad. Despite being only 23, Sissoko is a player of great experience having played more than 30 UEFA Champions League matches. He has also played many matches in big leagues and for his country.”

The £8m coming in for Sissoko more than covers the fee for Martin Skrtel who Rafa signed earlier in the month. And it will also help Liverpool keep one of the players that made Momo’s first-team chances so limited, Argentinean star Javier Mascherano. Mascherano is coming to the end of an 18-month loan deal with Liverpool, but the Reds can keep him here for five more years in a £17m deal.

No doubt the owners will pounce on the Mascherano deal for some positive PR, assuming it goes through, but that £17m fee includes Mascherano’s wages for the full five years, and is to be paid in instalments spread over the five years. Although Rafa would like it tied up now, the deal won’t actually kick in until the summer, when the current loan ends. At the moment the only hold-ups are caused by legal issues, Liverpool taking care not to fall foul of Premier League rules on third-party ownership.

Rafa was asked today how Mascherano’s deal was moving along, and said: “It is progressing. Rick Parry has been working on this and Momo Sissoko. We are working hard on Mascherano and maybe we can say something positive in a few days. Really, we don’t need to do anything because the player is already with us; it’s just got to be finished. If we can finish it now, that would be perfect.”

Last year the club signed the player before the transfer deadline, but had to wait for various football bodies to clear the deal before he could play, which meant it was some time after the deadline before he made his debut. Similar delays this season won’t stop him playing: “He is here already and if we don’t do anything he can still play for us. But he wants to stay.”

Rafa also spoke about Sissoko’s departure: “I think it’s a good move for Momo and for us. He is a very good professional and a nice boy. He wanted to play and it’s difficult here with Lucas and Mascherano playing well now, and Xabi Alonso and Gerrard.”

Rafa says there were no disagreements between him and the player: “Everything has been positive. We have four players in this position so it’s good for him and good for us.”

Momo’s 86 appearances for the club saw him score just one goal, but ignoring some difficulties this season, he’ll always be remembered fondly by supporters. And in the words of the banner, “Momo is Boss”. Just not for us any more. Good luck Momo.

3 thoughts on “Momo goes, but Mascherano set to stay”

  1. Once again Rafa delivers for the club, fans and now for those lying owners. How many other managers, besides Wenger, delivers profit on players and yet continues to win trophies?

    I don’t know about you but even that we’re securing the signing of Monster, I still feel so flat that Hick and Gillett are nicking our club and tainting its history. Moores and Parry, how could you??

    I hope the meeting of RTK on Thursday strategically leads to ways of getting Hicks and Gillett out of our club…..and take Financial Dynamics, their professional but p.poor PR people, with them.

  2. I personally dont like the american owners but at present what options do we have? I don’t think DIC are the answer as they have not come forward and put a serious bid in for LFC and if they had big ideas and wanted us to support their takeover why no details or facts. Its ok having your chairman being an LFC fan but so is my nan!! I think Steve Morgan would of been a great owner. He is a Liverpool man born and bred and has supported the Reds all his life. He is a wealthy man and would of made sure we got the best deals in anything we were involved in. Instead we’ve got a bunch of cu### who dont really give a damn. Thanks to Moores and Parry we are now in serious trouble and although I’m usually a positive man I can only see trouble ahead. The next few weeks are vital. However, a win against the Hammers tomorrow would be a welcome tonic and maybe just the kick start we need. Come on you Reds!!

  3. I think we have to look to the long term.

    Thess guys will seriously affect our short to medium term. We need them out to protect our long term success.

    Steve Morgan is now at Wolves – and will not be with us soon enough. But if he’s thinking long term he’ll be back in cointention.

    But we must not steer away from our key goals for the sake of our much loved club.

    We need to get everyone and that includes Moores and Parry to not think of the here and now. But to think, and joiin together, in making Hicks and Gillett so reviled from inside and outside the boardroom, at street, community, fan and political level that economically it doesn’t make sense for them to stay.

    I’d rather go back to where we were a year or so ago – struggling for cash but keeping our identity – (though i know this can’t happen) – than be stuck with these jokers and their PR friends.

    Let’s get them out…………….

    and a win tonight would be great though we shouldn’t underestimate how affected the top and bottom of liverpool has been rocked by these mercenaries.

    Time for them to go……..

    On this occasion I don’t think we need to fear the saying ‘be careful what you wish for’ because it can’t be any worse.

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