Barcelona set to increase offer for Liverpool’s Mascherano

By Michael Owen
javier mascherano
Javier Mascherano - seeking Anfield exit (Photo: Ryu Voelkel)

javier mascherano

Barcelona are set to up their bid for want-away midfielder Javier Mascherano in an offer which is reported to include two players plus cash.

Liverpool have already rejected one approach by the Catalan giants for the 26-year-old midfielder, but it is believed Barcelona are now willing to make a second proposal which would see Alexander Hleb and Martin Caceres head to Anfield in exchange for the Argentine, along with a transfer fee.

The Anfield club are believed to want in the region of £25m for the Argentina captain, but due to Barcelona’s current financial situation it is unlikely the Spanish champions will meet the valuation in cash.

Officials in Catalonia believe they are in a strong position to negotiate a reasonable price for the midfielder thanks to his obvious desire to leave the club, which forced Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson to leave the 26-year-old out of the Reds squad which was beaten 3-0 by Manchester City on Monday.

Meanwhile, former Football League chairman Keith Harris has said he is representing a bidder seriously interested in taking control at Anfield, claiming the due diligence process has already been completed.

Harris has been involved in a number of different takeovers of Premier League clubs, including the acquisitions of West Ham, Aston Villa and Manchester City whilst also consulting for Chelsea during Abramovich’s purchase of the club.

The 57-year-old also represented a Kuwaiti businessman, dubbed “The Man in the Sand”, who was unsuccessful in his attempts to end the reign of Tom Hicks and George Gillett at Anfield.

“The overseas buyer we represent has completed due diligence. A huge amount of work has been done,” Harris told the London Evening Standard.

“The ball is now in our client’s court to make an offer. I do not think the deal will be done before the transfer window closes this month but the next pressure point is October when some of the RBS loan of £237m has to be repaid. It may happen then. But in the present climate these things are impossible to predict.”

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