According to the Guardian, Barcelona were last night preparing an improved bid in an attempt to land Liverpool midfielder Javier Mascherano.
Barcelona made an initial bid of 15m euros plus 5m in add-ons, which was rebuffed by Liverpool, who are said to be holding out for 26m. According to the report, Barcelona could be set to add former Arsenal midfielder Alexander Hleb and defender Martin Caceres into their offer to make up the cash difference.
Mascherano has made it clear that he wants to leave Anfield, both privately and openly, and he’s taken it a step further. After featuring in Liverpool’s season opener against Arsenal and contributing an assist on David N’Gog’s goal in the 1-1 draw, Mascherano refused to be selected for Monday’s 3-0 loss at Manchester City.
Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola refused to talk about Mascherano specifically when pressed around the potential deal, but he did mention what he was still looking for in the transfer market before the window closes. He said, “a defensive midfielder arrives the needs of the team will be resolved. If one arrives I will be satisfied.”
There is still a possibility that a late move could be made by Inter Milan to reunite Mascherano with Rafa Benitez, but with Roy Hodgson revealing just days ago that Inter president Massimo Moratti said that Inter wouldn’t be buying any Liverpool players, the Argentine could be Barcelona’s for the taking.