There is a fairly good chance that you may have caught wind of Javier Mascherano‘s tempestuous transfer between Liverpool and Barcelona this past month, as the myriad of developments and setbacks ensured that the protracted saga was omnipresent from the beginning of July onwards.
The good news for fans of media-saturation masochism everywhere is that the various rumblings between the three camps (Liverpool, Barca and the player himself) are showing no sign of abating any time soon – despite the transfer being officially rubber-stamped yesterday.
The latest instalment of the summer’s most wearisome soap opera sees the main protagonist now vowing to expose the Anfield club’s lies and subterfuge in initially blocking, then subsequently dragging their heels over, his ‘dream’ move to the Spanish giants.
Speaking at his ‘unveiling’ at the Camp Nou, Mascherano levelled a parting shot at his former employers – issuing a malevolent threat to former manager Roy Hodgson that, in time, he intends to answer the various allegations of espionage that were levelled at him during his three-and-a-half year tenure on Merseyside;
“Hodgson knows the truth. This is a happy moment for me so now is not the time to say it, but a lot of lies have been told about me and I will respond to them.”
Christ! Was he kept in a cage between training sessions and fed drawing pins? Or worse, was he made to sit and tweet whilst Ryan Babel dictated his utterly vapid daily ponderings?
The Argentine midfielder also revealed (although I’m sure a lot of impartial observers had already managed to deduce) that his move to Barca was a year overdue;
“Last year Liverpool would not let me leave. There was no way they would sell me. They had Xabi Alonso and me, and they would only let Xabi leave.
I was disappointed not to be able to sign last season. When the best club in the world calls you, then it is something that you want to happen. I have signed for the only club who really wanted me.”
Mascherano also went on to admit that Italian champions Inter Milan never submitted a formal offer for his services, despite the Nerazzurri top brass making claims to the contrary last week;
“In no moment did I ever think that Inter was a possibility. Rafa [Benitez] valued me and perhaps that is why people started saying that I could go there but [Barcelona] are the only club that pushed to sign me.”
And, in a final bid to patch up the bridges that he’d systematically demolished between himself and Liverpool supporters over the past few weeks, Mascherano signed off with a Bodyguard-esque olive branch;
“I hope [Liverpool] get back into the Champions League as soon as possible. I still have a lot of affection for the fans of the club and I always will.”
And so, in the age-old soap tradition, this week’s episode is bought to a heart-warming conclusion. Stay tuned folks.