Contract talks set to begin.
Liverpool are set to offer midfielder Javier Mascherano a new, more lucrative long-term contract to stay at Anfield.
The Argentine international was heavily linked with a big money move to Barcelona this summer after reports suggested he was discontent with teammates such as Steven Gerrard, Dirk Kuyt and Fernando Torres being offered new deals by the club.
But Benitez says the club value Mascherano fully and aim to get talks underway on a new contract very shortly.
“We were talking with Mascherano before. He knows we have to have a meeting and talk about his future,” he told Sky Sports News.
“There is a possibility that we will be friends, and will talk about things in private.” (This is Anfield)
Now I think it’s fair to say that the Argentine midfielder was not at his best on Sunday at White Hart Lane, but thankfully that is a rarity with Javier and he may well have had his head turned by the Barcelona speculation but I am sure he is totally committed to the club.
Clearly he and his agent may well have used the paper talk to attempt to drive conversation to a new contract, and that’s fair enough and is pretty much standard practice. Mascherano is a key part of the Liverpool puzzle and much like other big name players have been rewarded with big new deals I fully expect Masch to be offered one and hopefully it will be a long term one that he sees out because he is one of the best defensive midfielders in Europe right now.