Liverpool Line Up Move for Unspectacular £7m Mascherano Replacement

Anfield boss ready to use Inter Milan cash to land Villa Park midfielder.

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Football - Bolton Wanderers v Aston Villa Barclays Premier League - The Reebok Stadium - 25/4/09..Stilian Petrov - Aston Villa Photo via Newscom

Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson wants Aston Villa midfield general Stiliyan Petrov as the shock replacement for transfer-seeking Javier Mascherano.

Hodgson admires the Bulgarian star’s style and is ready to pay around £7 million for him as he looks to cash in on Argentinian Mascherano by selling him to Inter Milan coach Rafa Benitez.

The Kop are looking to land both Petrov and right back Luke Young in a surprise double raid as they try to bring in seasons professionals for a demanding campaign.

Petrov, 30, is one of the Premier League’s most respect operators and a key man for Martin O’Neill who brought him to Villa from Celtic where he was also a legend.

The Bulgarian star is aware of the Liverpool interest and could be keen on a move to Anfield – although Villa are desperate to keep their squad together despite so many being wanted men.

Hodgson wants a proven midfield schemer to play an anchor role in the Liverpool side. He expects Mascherano to move on, which would leave just Brazilian Lucas Leiva for that position – with Xabi Alonso never properly replaced. (Daily Mirror)

Now don’t get me wrong. Stiliyan Petrov is a good player and has got steadily better over the past two seasons at Villa Park but clearly if you sell as crucial a player as Mascherano and presumably do so for at least£25m then it seems odd (or should we say underhand) of the Liverpool money men to then only give enough funds to put in a bid for the 30 year old Bulgarian.

Perhaps this is the kind of thing Roy Hodgson should get used to. Tom Hicks and George Gillett have saddled the club with so much debt that the former Fulham boss will have to work his magic in the transfer market picking up players for far less than those he has to offload.

Clearly Martin O’Neill will fight tooth and nail to keep Petrov, a player who he brought to the club from Celtic where he was a big success. At least the new Anfield boss would be capturing a player who is well versed in Premier League football and is always going to give you 100% but perhaps he is not the most logical replacements for the want-away Argentine.

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