Anfield move on the cards as Argentine midfielder goes AWOL.
Roy Hodgson is mulling over an Inter Milan swap offer after apparently giving up on any hope of keeping Argentine international Javier Mascherano at the club. Rafa Benitez is so keen on reuniting with his former Anfield charge that he will offer cash and the choice of a selection of players the Inter Milan boss is willing to use as makeweights to secure a deal for the 26 year old defensive midfielder.
The players on offer apparently include Mario Balotelli, Sulley Muntari and Brazilian international Mancini whereas Liverpool may actually prefer an out and out cash deal they may well also be interested in any signing they feel improves their squad.
Whilst the new Liverpool boss has stated publicly his intention to keep the club’s ‘good’ players he may well have given up hope with the battling defensive midfielder who appears hell bent on engineering a Merseyside exit.
On the reported issue of the inability to get in contact with Javier Mascherano Roy Hodgson said: “I have tried to contact Javier. I have left him voice messages and sent him texts but had no reply. To be fair to him, that’s not unusual because he’s had a tough World Cup and I believe he’s gone back to Argentina. It’s not always easy to get in touch with people. I have tried to reach him to make clear I am happy to talk with him at his convenience.”
As the new season draws ever nearer former boss Rafa Benitez knows that the offer of players into any deal will become more attractive as finding a replacement, or indeed new reinforcements, will become trickier as pre-season really kicks in.
Sulley Muntari is the nearest to a like for like replacement for Mascherano although he is perhaps more attack minded. Balotelli offers Liverpool a new attacking option and a very talented one at that. Mancini would give Hodgson natural width out on the right and is apparently a player that the former Fulham boss admires.
Any deal would have to calculate to around the £35-40m mark as Liverpool will hold out for as good a price as possible so clearly by offering players as part of a deal Benitez keeps costs down to a minimum as he looks to re-shape the Inter Milan side to reflect his own style of football. He is also expecting Jose Mourinho to attempt snatching a player or two from the Champions League holders.