19 Feb 2016

Anfield Smackdown: 'Unique' £130k-a-week Barcelona star accuses Liverpool of lying over £22m transfer.

Back in 2010, Barcelona star Javier Mascherano left Anfield in acrimonious circumstances, and in a new interview this week, the allegedly 'unique' Argentine international has once again accused Liverpool of playing fast and loose with the truth.

Speaking to the Liverpool Echo this week, Mascherano - reportedly on £130k-a-week - insisted that he still has a 'a lot of affection' for Liverpool, but reiterated his unhappiness with the way the Reds handled his move to Barcelona. He noted:

"[Liverpool] didn't always tell the truth. They promised that they'd release me...when Rafa went. I felt the project was falling apart. Rafa had gone, there was no direction.”

This echoes Mascherano's comments in February 2014, when he told Sky Sports:

"They [Liverpool] didn't keep their word. We had been talking about [Barca] for 20 days, and they started to make things difficult. It left me with a bad feeling"

Prior to his exit, Mascherano - who cost Barcelona £22m - allegedly refused to play in a league game against Man City, but Liverpool's manager at the time, Roy Hodgson, claimed:

"He [Mascherano] is not here tonight as there is speculation about his future. His mind is not right, so it's not correct to select him"

Hodgson's version of events didn't fly with some of LFC's legends, though, including Phil Thompson, who raged:

"He [Mascherano] let the club down. Big time. To refuse to play while he remains a Liverpool player is totally unacceptable and frankly sickening".

Mascherano's version of events:

“I did not refuse to play. Why would I do that when I knew Barcelona were close to signing me, and then refuse to play in another game? That doesn’t make any sense."

There's no credible evidence to prove that Mascherano refused to play for LFC, so it's basically a case of choosing who to believe. If what the Argentine states is true, however, then it's understandable why he feels so aggrieved.

Additionally, if Mascherano did refuse to play, why would LFC entertain the idea of re-signing him? In August 2013, Sky Sports reported that the Reds were considering a transfer, and a year later, Mascherano was again linked with with a return to Anfield, which seems strange in light of the alleged refusal.

Ultimately, like Fernando Torres, and Luis Suarez, Mascherano simply abandoned an obviously sinking ship, and it's hard to argue that either of those three - all of whom went on to win the Champions League - made the wrong decision.

Author: Jaimie K


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