Benitez expects deals for duo
Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez expects Javier Mascherano and Jose Reina to sign new contracts before the end of the season.
Last Updated: 05/03/10 4:45pm
Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez has revealed that he expects Javier Mascherano and Jose Reina to sign new contracts before the end of the season.
Midfielder Mascherano was understood to have held talks with Barcelona last summer and it had been rumoured that a deal was in place which would see him join the Spanish and European champions at the end of this campaign.
Reina has been involved in ongoing discussions with Liverpool's hierarchy for a number of months, but it was recently speculated that the goalkeeper was unhappy with his club's disappointing form.
Benitez, though, is confident Mascherano and Reina, who has arguably been the Reds' Player of the Season, will agree new deals within the next two months as negotiations continue.
The Reds boss said of Argentina captain Mascherano: "I was talking with him and his agent the other day and it is true Javier is happier.
"The conversations were very positive. When you talk with Javier he is very settled and happy.
"Everyone knew about some clubs (being interested in him) but talking with us he was fine."
Asked if a deal would be struck before the end of the season, Benitez added: "I think so."
The Spaniard, who takes his team to Wigan in the Premier League on Monday, also said that Reina's commitment to a new deal was not in doubt.
"Pepe (Reina) is another key player and it is 100% he will continue with us," Benitez said.
"Everything is very close. I think we will have news about Reina and Mascherano very soon."
Mascherano was thought to want to move to Barcelona in order to link up with his close friend and compatriot Lionel Messi, while Reina's superb form has seen him be linked to a number of top clubs around Europe.