Latest to put some words into one of the longest transfer sagas in recent seasons is Lionel Messi, the Argentina and Barcelona forward.
In defence of his country and new club teammate, Messi said:-
"Javier has a clear conscience but I wonder if the Liverpool coach has," he told the Daily Star Sunday.
"We were in constant contact during his final nightmare year at Liverpool.
"His family were deeply unhappy in England. They struggled with the culture, had no friends and he told me he used to come home from training to find his wife crying.
"A man has to put his family first and Javier had to put his wife and his two daughters before football."
"Hodgson was fully aware that Javier needed to leave the country because of his family and told Javier that if the right offer came in he would be allowed to move.
"Barcelona matched Liverpool's valuation and Javier got the move his family desperately needed.
"Now the coach is saying that Javier held Liverpool to ransom when it's not true. They both agreed he could go for the right price.
"Javier will reveal the truth of the conversations in detail one day but for now he is just happy he is at the greatest club in the world where he can finally win things - and more importantly where his family can be happy."
Firstly, I highly doubt that he was unhappy at Liverpool and the 'fact' that his family couldn't settle down because these were the words he said in an interview half-a-year back as reported by Liverpool Echo and Telegraph (click links to read reports in full):-
"Liverpool know I want to stay so I don't think it will be difficult to arrive at a deal," he said.
"The club are talking with my agent. I leave my agent to sort it out as I don't like to be involved in the talks. We will see what happens in a few weeks.
"I've never said I wasn't happy at Liverpool. Maybe the press have said that but I've always been happy."
Wait a minute, wasn't there a buzz about his family's inability to settle down since last summer? The quotes above were made by Mascherano this year.
Well, close to signing a new deal certainly doesn't sound like a particular player can't settle down in a particular country and wanting to leave, to me at least.
Secondly, in response to 'right price', I know, in fact we all know in the beginning of summer that Liverpool and Roy Hodgson were already prepared to sell Javier Mascherano, providing that a 'right price' was offered. The buzz started when Mascherano reportedly refused to answer Hodgson's call after the World Cup, and later when the Argentine came back, Hodgson revealed that the defensive midfielder wanted to leave and the club would allow him to go 'at the right price' after holding talks with the player.
Later on, when Christian Poulsen was signed, Hodgson continued to reiterate that the signing of Poulsen didn't mean that Mascherano was on his way out. He also mentioned that if the interested clubs (in Mascherano) could not meet Liverpool's valuation, he would be as happy seeing Mascherano see out the remaining two-year of his contract with Liverpool.
But we all know it wasn't possible since players can go to the extent of refusing to play these days.
Okay, so what exactly is a 'right price' for a player like Javier Mascherano?
Barcelona sold Yaya Toure to Manchester City for £25 million in the similar summer, and Liverpool signed Javier Mascherano permanently more than two years back in early 2008 for a fee around £17 million having loaned him on an 18-moth deal from West Ham United a year earlier. And since then, he had become the captain of Argentina, and arguably among the top three defensive midfielders in the world. Liverpool ended up agreeing a £17.8 million offer by Barcelona when there was nothing left to do but to sell Mascherano after all the 'ugly things' that had happened behind the scene.
Lastly, in response to 'Javier's confession'. Messi's statement there reminded me again that Mascherano still owes me something. I was devastated by the way Mascherano left Liverpool but I soon got over the whole saga, but there was something he said in the press conference during his unveiling as a Barcelona player that struck me. He promised me, and all Liverpool fans, that he would reveal 'the truth' and 'all the lies' surrounding his transfer to Barcelona.
"When they started to involve my family and to say things that didn't make sense, I obviously suffered. They'd promised me something for a whole year and they never fulfilled their promise. And that didn't have anything to do with my family or anything else. When you read or hear lies, you obviously get angry," Mascherano was reported as saying.
If the transfer had nothing to do with his family, then what did his best friend, Messi mean when he said: "his family were deeply unhappy in England.... came home from training to find his wife crying"?
The funny thing about this is the claims from Mascherano are contradicting each other. And if he was going to reveal the 'lies' (if any), what is taking him so long? Could he be trying to link these fallacies together to make some sense when there clearly is none at the moment?
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