Why it's not always good for Moussa Sissoko to talk
We get it, Moussa. You want to leave.
It seems most fans want you out too.
And Rafa Benitez – who had wanted to keep Moussa Sissoko at St James’s Park – is now reconciled to his departure.
It’s a case of “when”, and not “if”, the unsettled midfielder will leave.
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The thing is, the Sissoko saga could drag on until the end of the month. And that’s not good for anyone.
Sissoko possibly felt his latest interviews would hasten his departure.
But it’s most likely that the return of Paul Pogba to Manchester United from Juventus hasten things.
Sissoko has always felt that it’s good to talk in his native France.
The 26-year-old, however, was always a reluctant talker after Newcastle United games.
Sometimes he’d pause and talk for a couple of minutes.
But he always hesitated before stopping in the post-game mixed zone.
Sissoko, however, has always had a lot more to say to journalists on the other side of the Channel. And last week was no exception.
The timing, however, was even worse than normal.
Sissoko spoke about his future in France ahead of the club’s Championship opener against Fulham.
And quotes emerged from the 26-year-old late on Friday night in the hours after the club’s 1-0 defeat to Fulham at Craven Cottage.
Sissoko said Newcastle were “open” to his departure.
In another interview, he said he was “flattered” by interest from Real Madrid, who, like Juventus, are considering a move for him after losing out on Pogba.
Benitez, for his part, needs some certainty about his team for the coming season, but given Sissoko’s price tag – United want £35million – the uncertainty could drag on for days or even weeks.
Sissoko’s fitness is this week being assessed by Benitez and his staff ahead of Saturday’s home game against Huddersfield Town.
Maybe Benitez – who handed Sissoko the captain’s armband late last season – is tempted to involve him.
Sissoko could have the game of his life. Or he could disappear, like he did so often last season.
But there’s one thing that just about everyone can agree on.
Sissoko needs to go – sooner rather than later.