Anfield midfielder on his way to the Nou Camp.
Javier Mascherano has been given permission to open talks with Barcelona after Liverpool agreed terms with the Spanish giants.
The Argentina captain has been linked with a move away from Anfield for much of the summer with Barca and Inter Milan both keen on his services.
Midfielder Mascherano was not included in the Reds’ squad for Monday’s 3-0 Premier League defeat at Manchester City after informing Hodgson he did not want to be considered for selection.
New Reds boss Hodgson has always maintained that the 26-year-old would remain on Merseyside unless the club’s valuation of the player was met.
The former Fulham manager revealed after the Reds secured their place in the group stages of the Europa League that the club had rejected an initial offer from Inter, who have ex-Anfield boss Rafa Benitez at the helm.
And Barca have moved to the front of the queue for the tough-tackling Mascherano’s services with their offer accepted and the player now due to open discussions with the Camp Nou outfit.
A statement on the club’s official website read: “Liverpool Football Club have agreed terms for the transfer of Javier Mascherano to FC Barcelona.
“The Spanish club have now been given permission to speak to the Argentina midfielder.”
Sky Sports’ Guillem Balague understands that Barca will pay Liverpool an initial £16million for Mascherano, with a further £6million depending on performances and future success. (Sky Sports)
Roy Hodgson will be glad to have completed this deal and Javier Mascherano will have got the move he clearly craved. The fee Liverpool will receive is a little undervaluing the Argentine skipper but I guess the Merseyside outfit wanted to get this move done and dusted so that they a) did not end up stuck with a player who wanted to leave and b) have time to re-invest in their squad with the funds received.
It is worth pondering whether Mascherano will even be a first team regular under Pepe Guardiola. The only player in the Nou Camp midfield who would be dropped to accommodate the 26 year old would be Sergio Busquet and he is a favourite of Guardiola’s, so much so that his repeated inclusion in the starting line up left Yaya Toure having to make a move to Man City.