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Stoke 16:00 Liverpool

Roy stays out of Masch talks

Liverpool boss admits midfielder's head has been turned

Last Updated: 24/08/10 11:05am

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Mascherano: Head turned by Barca

Mascherano: Head turned by Barca

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Roy Hodgson says he does not want to 'create headlines' over Javier Mascherano's future after confirming Liverpool are in talks with Barcelona.

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Mascherano was not involved in Liverpool's 3-0 defeat at Manchester City on Monday night following Barca's failed bid for the midfielder.

Reports put the offer in the region of £16million and Hodgson revealed prior to the City loss that the Argentine was not in the right frame of mind to play.

Hodgson was pressed further on the issue of the 26-year-old's future after the game and again insisted Mascherano would only leave Anfield if the Reds' valuation is met.

The Liverpool boss believes discussions are taking place at board level and conceded Mascherano has been swayed by Barcelona's interest.

Head turned

"Javier Mascherano is not in the right frame of mind to play the game because his head has obviously been turned by the offer from Barcelona," said Hodgson.

"This matter has developed over the last couple of days. Unfortunately the fee the club thinks is the correct fee and the fee we are being offered are very far apart.

"Unless that can be resolved he might be unhappy for a long time to come.

"But I don't really want to get involved in it. The discussions between Barcelona and the club are being held at high club level and as a result I don't want to start saying things which may or may not be true.

"I have no wish to create headlines over the Mascherano situation.

"It is not the first time these things have happened and there are quite a lot of clubs suffering at the moment by their players being courted by others and their players being unhappy at being required to fulfil their contracts.

"It has happened to us now."

Hodgson became agitated as he was bombarded by questions about the Argentinian, but he refused to respond to enquiries about what he thought about the player's professionalism.

He responded: "Are you just going to keep asking questions in the hope I say something I don't want to say?"

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