Thursday, February 28, 2008

Liverpool's Crouch & Mascherano: Waiting for Rafa to go & stay

Crouch and Mascherano have differing reasons to dither on their contract
Peter Crouch and Javier Mascherano are both taking an inordinate length
of time to sign new deals at Anfield. Speculation that Crouch may invoke
the new rules that allow players to buy themselves out of their contract
at a value much less than they are worth on the open market, has forced
Liverpool to open talks with him about renewing his contract. Meanwhile
Javier Mascherano despite all the positive noises to the contrary from
both sides has still not signed a long term deal with Liverpool. Could
it be both are waiting until the summer when hopefully Benitez's and
indeed Liverpool's future is settled?

Crouch will clearly be hoping the manager is moved on and he can stay
at Liverpool under a new regime. Despite his goals record for Liverpool,
his number of starts has dwindled to the point where its' clear Benitez
no longer considers him one of his senior players. Benitez going is no
guarantee he will stay but its the best he's got, and given Arsenal,
Chelsea and Manchester United are not likely to be interested in him,
biding his time at Liverpool is his best chance of staying at one of the
'big-four' clubs.

Mascherano meanwhile may well be hoping the opposite, that is that
Benitez stays. He clearly has a lot of respect for Benitez after he
rescued him from his Upton Park nightmare, and gave him a start in the
Champions League final. Mascherano will be hoping Benitez is given the
go-ahead to remain at Anfield whoever the eventual owners become. That
said if he opts to leave their will be no shortage of takers for one of
Liverpool's few world/international class performers.


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