Despite claiming that he prefers to stay out of the spotlight, Moussa Sissoko has given his latest big interview when back on home soil.
Away on international duty with France, the Newcastle midfielder has revealed that the club ‘vetoed’ a move for him this summer.
This backs up comments from Moussa Sissoko’s representatives, that were carried in the French media in recent days.
However, when asked if in return for him staying this season there is an agreement with Newcastle that he can leave next summer, Moussa Sissoko was evasive. Simply saying he hoped for a good season and hoped to win the Euros with France, then he can reflect on what he should do next.
Sissoko gives his verdict on Newcastle’s summer recruitment, his hopes for United this season, as well as being the ‘Darling of Deschamps’.
Moussa Sissoko speaking to France Football:
You frequent the France team for almost six years but it seems very few know you. Looking for anonymity?
Looking to progress on the ground, that’s all. I did not need to be in the light, to have a big reputation, this is not something that is important to me.
There is one thing that the general public knows about you: you watch ‘The Young and the Restless’
(He laughs) I had said in an interview when I was asked what I was doing after training. I admit that when I went home, I watched this drama that I love forever.
You run from the light (publicity)?
No, when I am asked to come to the press, I come. I do not want to go all the time but I know that sometimes it’s good to do so, to say what we think and what we feel, but I do not want to show myself constantly. I love being in the corner.
What have you planned to do June 10 to 10 July 2016 (next summer’s Euros)?
(Smiles) I hope I would have realised before that a good season with Newcastle, hope to be on this list for the Euros but nothing is certain.
You can never be 100% sure. I know what I can do. I think the staff, the coach and the players trust me, that’s why I am regularly called. But one is never safe from anything. I have to be effective and show that I want to be there because a lot of players hoping to be part of this list.
Of the 23 present at this (French squad) gathering in September, you are the eighth most capped player (30 caps). This figure makes you an essential part of the group?
Being the eighth most-capped, it makes me happy. People know how I am: I do not cheat, that’s what I’ve always done, that’s how I am in life. This is also why the coach called me. I have always given my all, even if it happened to be less good.
‘Moussa Sissoko, faithful Deschamps soldier’, this is a good definition?
You should ask the coach.
Some call you ‘Darling of Deschamps’
This is the first time I hear it (He laughs). Personally, I know he likes me. But he jokes with everyone.
What do you bring to this squad?
I am cheerful, love good humour. I like joking.
In 29 selections (for France) you have been substituted 15 times. Replaced half the time, are you okay with that?
I’m at the place where I should be. Like everyone else, I want to play all the matches of course. But whether five minutes, an hour or ninety minutes, I’m always happy to play.
In the France team you cannot be frustrated. If it was like that in Newcastle, I would have another speech …
According to you, you stay there (Newcastle) to get more playing time in the France team?
Today, look at those who play in my position: Blaise (Matuidi) who did extraordinary things for PSG, Paul (Pogba) who is wonderful for Juventus, Yohan Cabaye who has just signed for Crystal Palace (after playing for ‘big’ club PSG – not Palace!) and Morgan Schneiderlin who is now at Manchester United … Compared to me, they all play in big clubs.
Playing for Newcastle slows your ascent with the Blues (France)?
No, that’s not it. I am in Newcastle but it is not a club of the Big Four … And I do not forget that media focus on bigger clubs than mine and (some of their players) are not called.
Do you think you are recognised enough (in France)?
Seriously? I do not pay any attention. If nobody loves me in the world of football, it will not bother me. It will not change anything in my life and in my game. Everything (talk) that goes around, I do not care, I stay in my bubble. Maybe it’s because the English know me more than the French …
You want the other way around?
Not necessarily … I had the chance to do some great things when I arrived in Newcastle and that’s why I think that English football quickly adopted me. But I did not need to be recognised in France to be better on the field.
Last June, you said he would have to make the right decision for your future. The right decision was to stay in Newcastle?
(Laughs) It could have been a good time to leave. There were discussions with the club (Newcastle) who were against me leaving.
Was the guarantee of playing time with one year to the Euros a reason not to force a move?
The coach (Didier Deschamps) has said and repeated, you have to play. I took it into account.
But what did you want?
I keep that to myself …
An answer that reflects a frustration?
No, not at all. I am there at Newcastle), I have the chance to play every weekend, to evolve in a fantastic stadium. What I miss is to play leading roles (Champions League, competing for trophies). Now, in my opinion, (this summer) it was a very good recruitment. There is a great team this year to have a good Premier League. We know it will be difficult to finish in the top 5. But if we finish sixth, seventh or eighth with Newcastle, I would be very happy.
Did you have offers this summer?
Yes. There were clubs … But Newcastle vetoed.
You mentioned the situation with the coach (Deschamps)?
No. His role is to coach us. But if I had a hesitation between two or three clubs, I would certainly have asked his opinion.
Not tired of watching the Champions League on TV?
I would like to (play in the Champions League), I hope to one day.
You negotiated a release next summer ?
It’s still far away. I have ambitions but I will first think about having a good Championship (Premier League) and a good Euro , which I hope to win with France. And at that time (next summer), I will have all the time for reflection.
What is your view on the spending spree of English clubs this summer?
It’s unbelievable. When I see some transfers , I think that’s huge. Some transfers amaze me …
Do you tell yourself that some might have to make an effort for you?
They could have (smiles).
How much is Moussa Sissoko on the market?
If I was club president , why not 100 million (he laughs)!