After weeks of rumours, Christian Poulsen is finally set on a £4.5m move to Liverpool from Italian giants Juventus. Roy Hodgson, along with Liverpool fans, has been waiting with bated breath to see if the club would finally be sold; this would have released a myriad of transfer funds and likely changed Hodgson’s entire transfer plan.
But as no buyer has been found for the club, Hodgson went forward with what he had been seemingly planning since he took the helm at the Merseyside club. Hodgson has worked with Poulsen before, the Denmark international was a part of his title-winning FC Copenhagen side in 2000-2001.
The deal for Poulsen, who has 77 caps for Denmark, included an immediate £2.25 million, with another £2.25m to be paid next July. It is widely assumed that Poulsen is being brought into replace Javier Mascherano, who recently stated that he wanted to leave English football.
But a bid meeting Liverpool’s £25m valuation of Mascherano has yet to be made. The two clubs rumoured to be most keen on signing him are former Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez’s Inter Milan and Barcelona, the club Mascherano tried to move to last summer when Benitez alleged to have put a stop to.
Mascherano said: “The only thing I want to say is I don’t have anything against the Liverpool supporters, the Liverpool people. My problem is not to play for Liverpool. I’m very proud to play for Liverpool. It’s another thing. I said to him [Hodgson] that maybe for my life I prefer to change the country, not the club. That is the fact.
“Sometimes you can see all the things that the papers or the press say, but at the end the only thing I can say is thank you to everyone in Liverpool because they supported me all the time, from the beginning until now.”
Poulsen, whose no-nonsense midfield style is similar to Mascherano’s, played in all three of Denmark’s World Cup games in South Africa as well as 882 out of a possible 900 minutes during Denmark’s qualifying campaign. In addition to Copenhagen in Denmark and Juventus in Italy, the defensive midfielder has played for Sevilla in Spain where he helped the club to win the UEFA Cup and Copa Del Rey in 2007, as well as a four-year stint in Germany with Schalke 04.
Liverpool begin their Premier League season on Sunday against Arsenal at Anfield.