It was really interesting to hear Rafa Benitez talk last night during the BBC Radio Newcastle call-in show with Mick Lowe about Moussa Sissoko – and Rafa genuinely seems to like the big Frenchman.
Rafa said that he liked Moussa as a footballer and also as a person and said he had talked with both Moussa and his agent and told them what the deal was with Newcastle.
Basically if Newcastle get what the club is asking for him – said to be a cool £35M – he will be allowed to leave the club this summer, but otherwise we would not sell and he would have to stay.
Rafa Benitez and Moussa Sissoko
This is how Rafa has backed up those words today in his press conference for the Fulham game tomorrow night:
“Moussa is training well and we don’t have any official offers on the table, a lot of speculation from agents and media but nothing on the table officially,”
“If he goes, hopefully it will be the right price for us — but if he stays I will be delighted.”
It seems a little amazing, but if clubs are turned away by the high transfer fee placed on the Frenchman’s head it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that he will not be sold and Moussa could stay at Newcastle past August.
On the other hand ….. there’s always Liverpool.
If he stays it’s unlikely he would want to leave in January – assuming we do as well as we hope to in the league – and who know Moussa may be getting his wish to play for a big club who plays in the Champions League in the near future.
Without even making a move.
That’s the less likely scenario of course, but still possible.
So it’s really a win-win for Newcastle, whichever way it goes. whether Moussa stays or Moussa goes.
If he does stay we will have to get Rafa to tell him to stop making those stupid comments to the French press every time he’s called away on International duty.
And of course he will not be the captain, with Jamaal Lascelles deservedly being made made captain today at the very young age of 22.
But this lad has huge leadership ability and tremendous passion for the club.
With Moussa, most Newcastle fans probably want him to leave before the month is out, given all the statements he’s made since the Euro 2016 Championships.
Certainly if we get £35M for him that’s an excellent deal and if stays he could help Newcastle tear up the Championship.