Masch bound for Barcelona
Liverpool agree terms for sale of Argentina captain
By Rob Parrish. Last Updated: 28/08/10 7:31pm
Javier Mascherano has been given permission to open talks with Barcelona after Liverpool agreed terms with the Spanish giants.
The Argentina captain has been linked with a move away from Anfield for much of the summer with Barca and Inter Milan both keen on his services.
Midfielder Mascherano was not included in the Reds' squad for Monday's 3-0 Premier League defeat at Manchester City after informing Hodgson he did not want to be considered for selection.
New Reds boss Hodgson has always maintained that the 26-year-old would remain on Merseyside unless the club's valuation of the player was met.
The former Fulham manager revealed after the Reds secured their place in the group stages of the Europa League that the club had rejected an initial offer from Inter, who have ex-Anfield boss Rafa Benitez at the helm.
And Barca have moved to the front of the queue for the tough-tackling Mascherano's services with their offer accepted and the player now due to open discussions with the Camp Nou outfit.
A statement on the club's official website read: "Liverpool Football Club have agreed terms for the transfer of Javier Mascherano to FC Barcelona.
"The Spanish club have now been given permission to speak to the Argentina midfielder."
Sky Sports' Guillem Balague understands that Barca will pay Liverpool an initial £16million for Mascherano, with a further £6million depending on performances and future success.
Pep Guardiola's side have revealed that Mascherano is expected to put pen to paper on a four-year contract this weekend.
A statement on the Barcelona's official website read: "FC Barcelona and Liverpool FC have reached an agreement in principle for the transfer of Javier Mascherano to the club for the next four seasons.
"The deal was closed after intensive efforts made by the club in the final hours and through the player himself in the negotiations.
"Barcelona will report the details of the operation once the player passes the medical and the transfer is concluded.
"It is hoped Javier Mascherano will arrive in Barcelona this weekend."