Pep - Door is open for Masch
Pep Guardiola has hinted that Javier Mascherano needs to travel to Barcelona if a deal is to be reached.
By James Riach
Last Updated: 24/08/10 1:12pm
Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola has hinted that transfer target Javier Mascherano needs to travel to Spain if a deal is to be reached.
The 26-year-old Liverpool midfielder is wanted by the Catalan club as they prepare to embark on their Primera Liga campaign at the weekend.
Mascherano did not make the Reds squad for their clash with Manchester City on Monday night, as manager Roy Hodgson claimed the player had his 'head turned' by interest from Barca.
The Primera Division champions are thought to have tabled a bid in the region of £16million for the combative midfielder, but it was rejected as it fell short of Liverpool's asking price.
Guardiola confirmed that he wants to bring the player to Camp Nou, but is unsure how close an agreement is, claiming he will speak to Mascherano if he arrives in Spain.
"I will speak about him when he's here - if he comes," he said
When asked how close a deal was to being reached, Guardiola added: "You'll have to ask (sporting director Andoni) Zubizarreta.
"If a defensive midfielder arrives the needs of the team will be resolved. If one arrives I will be satisfied."
Wantaway midfielder Mascherano trained with Liverpool on Tuesday despite the uncertainty surrounding his future.
He has openly expressed his desire to leave Anfield after three-and-a-half years at the club, but it remains to be seen if he secures a move away before the end of the August transfer window.
Mascherano has been strongly linked with a switch to Inter Milan, where he would link up with former Kop boss Rafa Benitez, but Barcelona's interest appears to have lit a spark within the South American.
However, with Liverpool signing the player for a fee thought to be worth £20million, they will want to at least get their money back and perhaps make a profit from his sale.