Never short of opinion

Never short of opinion

Javier Mascherano is the latest Liverpool midfielder to declare his interest in a move to Spain.

Xabi Alonso spoke excitedly about Real Madrid’s “impressive project” earlier this week, and now the Argentine midfielder’s agent says he is fed up with life in England and wants a switch to Barcelona.

The 25-year-old has persistently been linked with a move to the European champions, but Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez insists he is not for sale.

That hasn’t stopped Mascherano’s agent, Walter Tamer, saying: “Barcelona is the easiest deal to set up as Javier wants to go to Spain. He is tired of life in England.

“His wife has not been given a permanent visa. She has to go through an odyssey each time she wants to go. Liverpool refuse to sell, this can be overcome with an extraordinary offer.”

Before Liverpool left for a pre-season tour of the Far East Benitez said Mascherano and Alonso were central to his plans and would not be leaving Anfield.

“I do not think Alonso or Mascherano will go. It is clear that they both are under contract with long-term agreements. That is it,” said Benitez.

“We signed them both from different situations. Alonso was coming from Real Sociedad and nobody had really heard much of him outside of Spain, he did well and we renewed his contract because of that.

“Mascherano came from West Ham where he had not been doing well. We brought him here and gave him a good contract, so we are very pleased with them both and that Liverpool has been very good to them.”