Argentinian star spent three hugely successful years at Anfield between 2007 and 2010.
Liverpool have made contact with La Liga champions FC Barcelona to inquire about the possibility of re-signing holding midfielder Javier Mascherano during the January transfer window.
Read more Liverpool FC news
The experienced Argentina international has been struggling for both form and fitness for most of this season under new Barca head coach Tata Martino, with the 29-year-old having featured in 18 matches in total so far in all competitions for the Catalan giants, ten of which have come in the league.
However, despite Martino having initially planned to utilise Mascherano as one of his main centre backs at Camp Nou in this campaign, especially in light of the continuing injury problems suffered by first-choice central defenders Carles Puyol and Gerard Pique, the Barcelona manager has since been forced into a major rethink regarding his compatriot’s future at the club.
And that is because for some unexplained reason Martino, by all accounts, only views Mascherano as a defender, rather than using the player in his more favoured position as a defensive midfielder sweeping up in front of the back four, a role he performed with such skill and aplomb during his three years at Liverpool.
All of which means that with the Argentinian now seemingly unable to carry out his duties at the heart of the Barca back four, with Mascherano having committed a number of glaring defensive errors in the weeks leading up to the winter break in La Liga, Martino is seriously considering listening to offers for his fellow countryman now that the January transfer window has finally opened again for business.
And that is what Reds managing director Ian Ayre was told when he contacted the Liga giants earlier this week, although it was also explained to him that Barcelona must first find a replacement central defender before the market closes again at the end of the month before they will sanction Mascherano’s departure from Catalunya.
However, the Reds have now been given permission to enter into discussions with their ex-midfielder over a possible return to Anfield, four years after Mascherano first left the Merseysiders to join Barca in controversial circumstances on a four-year deal for a transfer fee of 24m euros.
But with a contract with Barcelona that now runs until June 2016, it is not expected that Liverpool would need to fork out more than somewhere in the region of between £15m and £18m in order to re-sign the South American star this month were such a move to take place.