Nobody thought we would reach this point with Moussa Sissoko, least of all Rafa Benitez.
With less than 48 hours of the transfer window remaining, our resident ‘superstar’ is still at St James Park.
At the weekend the player revealed he was training away from the first team squad but showed no signs himself of being willing to make the best of a bad situation if he ends up staying at Newcastle, instead saying in this latest French interview that it was Newcastle’s fault he hadn’t got a move as yet – because they are being too greedy on their transfer price.
It is 18 days ago now (12 August 2016), when Rafa Benitez declared about the Moussa Sissoko saga: “If someone is waiting to do a deal on 30th August, no chance, because we don’t need to sell.”
The obvious conclusion from what Rafa said is that he didn’t want to be in a position where Sissoko was sold at the very last minute and he (Benitez) didn’t have time to spend that money on his own transfer targets.
Whilst Rafa said he had a transfer kitty to spend regardless of money generated by sales this summer, maybe buying a couple of £10m signings late in this window AND potentially ending up being still stuck with Moussa Sissoko, was a step too far.
If you look at the transfer activity, Ciaran Clark and Mohamed Diame signed for Newcastle in the first few days of August and then we have had these end of month deals for Yedlin, Lazaar and Murphy, with Christian Atsu allegedly arriving today on loan from Chelsea with a view to a permanent transfer.
I do wonder whether Rafa Benitez has had to go with a couple of cheaper options in these last few deals, with money from a Sissoko sale not guaranteed.
Whatever those circumstances, it would be very bizarre if we see Moussa Sissoko back in a Newcastle shirt and surely he must move by tomorrow night…mustn’t he?
Rafa Benitez at his pre-Huddersfield press conference Friday 12 August:
“Moussa is someone we like as an individual and as a player.
“If someone come in with a right offer we will consider it but if it’s not the right offer we are pleased to keep him here.
“If someone is waiting to do a deal on 30th August, no chance, because we don’t need to sell.”