Hodgson: Barca must up Masch bid

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Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson has told Barcelona to either make a proper bid for midfielder Javier Mascherano or forget about signing him altogether.

The Catalans have reportedly made a £12million offer for the Argentina captain which may also include Alexander Hleb as a makeweight. However, that falls way short of Liverpool's estimation of what the player, signed from West Ham for £18million three-and-a-half years ago, is worth.

Hodgson dropped the 26-year-old for Monday night's 3-0 defeat at Manchester City, but the 62-year-old insists Mascherano will not be allowed to leave for anything other than his full market value, which the Anfield club believe is nearer £24million. He said: "Unfortunately the fee the club thinks is the correct fee and the fee we are being offered are very far apart."

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

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

"The discussions between Barcelona and the club are being held at high club level and as a result I don't really want to get involved in it.

"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. Hopefully matters will get resolved, certainly before the end of the transfer window and I'll have a chance to pick him again, but last night would not have been a good time to select him.

"It will happen, I guess, a day when the offer for him matches our valuation, but until that day he stays with us."

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Alexander Hleb
Manchester City
Premier League

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