Masch set for Hodgson talks

Image: Mascherano: Reported for training

Javier Mascherano met up with Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson after returning to pre-season training.

Midfielder returns to Merseyside for training

Javier Mascherano has met up with new Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson after returning to pre-season training on Monday morning. The Argentina midfielder was given an extended break following the World Cup but arrived at Melwood with his future on Merseyside hanging in the balance. Hodgson has admitted that he was unable to contact the 26-year-old whilst on holiday, casting heavy doubts over whether he will stay at Anfield this season. The 62-year-old however is likely to outline his plans for the new campaign to the midfielder as he looks to retain both Mascherano and star striker Fernando Torres' services. Mascherano has been heavily linked with a move to Inter Milan, where he would link up with former Reds boss Rafa Benitez.

Fitness worries

It is the first time that the entire squad, apart from the injured Torres, have attended training due to some having extended breaks following their exertions at the World Cup. However despite warnings from the club's medical staff, Hodgson admitted that he may have to field some returning players earlier than he would like, with his first competitive game coming against Rabotnicki in a Europa League qualifier on Thursday. "I don't know what to do at this stage," he said. "I will have to liaise with them and (head of sports science) Peter Brukner and make a decision by Tuesday on what sort of team I can put out. "I can promise the Liverpool fans we will put out the best possible team, without compromising the future. "It is going to be a difficult discussion between myself and Peter because his feeling is we shouldn't use any of them and I am going to be tempted to say I want to use quite a few of them. "The only players I will take will be the ones that I definitely think will play a valuable part in the game. "If we are talking about senior players, it would be players prepared to start the game. "I would not take Steven Gerrard there to play for the last 10 minutes as a substitute." One senior player who will be available is midfielder Alberto Aquilani, who sat out Saturday's friendly defeat to Kaiserslautern with a knee problem. "Peter Brukner told me he ran for the first time on Saturday so I would expect him to be fit for Thursday," added Hodgson.

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