Friday, 27 August 2010
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 bossRafa 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 FCBarcelona.
"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.
Pep Guardiola's side have revealed that Mascherano is expected to put pen to paper on a four-year contract this weekend.
A statement on the Barcelona's official website read: "FC Barcelona and Liverpool FC have reached an agreement in principle for the transfer of Javier Mascherano to the club for the next four seasons.
"The deal was closed after intensive efforts made by the club in the final hours and through the player himself in the negotiations.
"Barcelona will report the details of the operation once the player passes the medical and the transfer is concluded.
"It is hoped Javier Mascherano will arrive in Barcelona this weekend."
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Thursday, 26 August 2010
Alex McLeish insists he is no closer to securing a swoop for Wigan winger Charles N'Zogbia.
The Birmingham boss revealed on Wednesday that he had upped his efforts to land the Frenchman by lodging an improved bid.
The Blues are keen to bring fresh faces on board before the summer transfer window slams shut at 6pm on Tuesday.
N'Zogbia is among those McLeish is looking to snap up, with Birmingham having made a slow start to the new season.
He claims to be no closer to knowing whether a deal will be struck at present, though, while he has also refused to get drawn into a war of words with Wigan boss Roberto Martinez after he vented his anger at news of the bid going public.
McLeish said: "There is nothing I can say on it.
"Until the Is are dotted and the Ts are crossed there is no point talking about it.
"I've no comment on it [Martinez's reaction]. That will only sell papers."
McLeish was speaking after watching his side book their place in the third round of the Carling Cup with a 3-2 win over Rochdale.
The Blues were pushed all the way by their plucky League One opponents but McLeish is pleased to have progressed in a competition he will be taking seriously.
He said: "We will try our best to go as far as we can.
"It depends on the draw and you need a bit of luck but you never know.
"With the greatest respect to the Carling Cup, the Premier League is our greatest priority but we want to go far.
"We knew an upset could happen. You see teams stumble every year but at 3-1 I thought we would go on and score more.
"But credit to Rochdale as they fought back well."
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The want-away midfielder has been linked with a move to the Italian giants, and Spanish sideBarcelona, all summer and has not played for the Reds since both clubs made offers for him.
Both approaches are understood to be nowhere near Liverpool's asking price for the Argentina skipper, which is thought to be around £25million.
Former Reds boss Rafa Benitez has denied any wrongdoing in his pursuit of Mascherano,as well as Dirk Kuyt, who is also being strongly linked with a reunion with the Spaniard.
Hodgson was adamant that the 26-year-old will be going nowhere unless their valuation is met and felt that Inter were not taking their asking price seriously.
"I saw a fax the other day but I think it was sent tongue-in-cheek to be honest," he revealed after Liverpool's Europa League play-off victory over Trabzonspor.
"The offer was so unbelievably far from a valuation it seemed to me the sporting director was putting the fax in to maybe satisfy people at the club.
"We didn't even bother to answer it, that is how ridiculously far from a serious offer it was."
Story via Sky Sports.com
Story via Sky Sports.com