Inter Milan have confirmed that they have made an official bid for wantaway Argentine midfielder Javier Mascherano and that they are awaiting a response from Liverpool.
Mascherano, who missed the first leg of Liverpool’s Europa League playoff round tie against Turkish side Trabzonspor last week, refused to be selected for Monday’s 3-0 defeat at Manchester City. That move not only incurred the wrath of Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson, but it also intensified the speculation that the Argentina captain will leave Anfield in the coming days.
Barcelona have been mooted as Mascherano’s preferred destination, and yesterday, it was reported that they were set to make an improved bid after having an initial bid turned down. But Inter, with former Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez now in charge of the reigning European champions, have also been in the discussion, and Inter sporting director Marco Branca has revealed that a concrete offer has been sent to Liverpool.
Branca said, “I sent an offer to Liverpool by fax on Tuesday and am waiting for a reply from them.
“We’re not speaking to the player at the moment because we want to do this in the right way and make sure that Liverpool are happy.
“Everybody knows that Mascherano would like to change team and to change country. He also has a good relationship with our manager Rafa Benitez.
“We’ve made a very good offer, around the amount they are asking for. We have a strong team here, the best in Europe, but we would like to add one or two players to make us even stronger.”
This news comes after Roy Hodgson, in the wake of reports that Inter Milan are in negotiations for attacker Dirk Kuyt, reiterated his comments that Inter president Massimo Moratti had given him his word that he wouldn’t buy any Liverpool players, and he also stated that Benitez, upon leaving Liverpool, signed an agreement that he wouldn’t make moves for any Liverpool players.
However, as opposed to the developing Kuyt situation, Hodgson will likely be more open to Inter’s advances for Mascherano, given that his and the club’s relationship with Mascherano looks to be close to irreparable, if it hasn’t reached that point already.