Mascherano set for Barcelona

Javier Mascherano is set to sign for Barcelona after the two clubs agreed a fee meaning the Argentine captain now has official permission to speak to the Spanish side.

Mascherano on his wayMascherano had been looking for a move away from Anfield since last summer, citing his wife’s unhappiness as the main reason for his desire to not just change club but change country.

After a certain amount of game-playing in public by the club this summer they eventually accepted that Mascherano wanted to leave and made it clear that he could go – just as soon as somebody put an offer in that met Liverpool’s demands.

That offer was some time coming, with Barcelona said to be in a position where they needed to sell before they could buy but also no doubt trying to capitalise on the desperation of both Liverpool FC and the player to see his future resolved. Barcelona’s league season begins this weekend, whereas Liverpool are about to play their third game of the league season, still looking for a win.

Liverpool announced the news on their website: “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.”

With claims that the player had actually agreed terms with Barça before the two sides had agreed a fee it was no surprise to see Barça’s announce that the only obstacle now left was for the player to successfully pass a medical. “FC Barcelona and Liverpool CF have reached an agreement for the transfer of Javier Mascherano for the next four seasons,” said the English translation of Barcelona’s statement on their official site. “The deal depends on the utility star passing a medical at Barça and the signing of his contract. Mascherano will arrive in Barcelona on this weekend.”

Barcelona also said that Mascherano had played a part himself in getting the deal done: “The deal was closed after intensive efforts made by the club in the final hours and through the player himself in the negotiations.”
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Liverpool 1 Arsenal 1

15 August 2010 – Premier League – Result

Liverpool 1 (Ngog 46)
Arsenal 1 (Reina (og) 90+1)

New season, new manager and a couple of new players – but for now it’s still the same old owners and the bad luck they brought with them in 2007. That bad luck was at its worse on the field last season with injuries, beach balls and volcanoes all playing a part in a season that was bad from start to finish. Today’s events suggest that it’s not gone away yet – but that there’s plenty of fight in the squad to prevent it taking hold.
Continue reading Liverpool 1 Arsenal 1

Hodgson: Torres looking forward to return

Roy Hodgson spoke to the media this afternoon as part of a press conference at Anfield staged to unveil the three signings to arrive so far in what Tom Hicks promised would be a “big” summer. What Hicks didn’t specify was whether it was “big” for transfers in or transfers out, and that was the kind of question most fans wanted to hear answered, in particular relating to the futures of Fernando Torres and Javier Mascherano.

Hodgson still unsure of squadThe total outlay so far this “big” summer is £2m, the fee paid for young defender Danny Wilson (with more to pay should certain targets be met). The other two signings unveiled were Joe Cole and Milan Jovanovich, both signed on free transfers.  One signing made just before the end of last season was Jonjo Shelvey, not part of today’s show, he cost £1.7m.

What’s far more worrying for Liverpool fans is where all the money from sales has gone to. Obviously there’s still some work to be done in the transfer market, because if the Emiliano Insua transfer to Fiorentina goes through there won’t be a recognised left-back at the club. Christian Purslow and Martin Broughton have both insisted that any proceeds from player sales can’t and won’t be used to “pay down debt”, but have yet to explain where all the money has gone.

The club’s current financial year ends next week, and in that 12-month period the club have spent far less than they have brought back in on transfer fees. Assuming Insua’s sale goes through at the reported £5m fee, Liverpool will have made a profit on transfer fees of £32.1m since August 1st. Continue reading Hodgson: Torres looking forward to return