Liverpool 'reject chance' to sign former Gunners favourite

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Barcelona have supposedly offered former Arsenal midfielder Aleksandr Hleb to Liverpool in an attempt to sign Javier Mascherano.

Despite suggestions in the media that the Catalan giants bid only £12 million for the wantaway Argentina captain, reports that Liverpool rebuffed a offer of £18.8 million plus the services of Hleb.

The Reds are reportedly adamant that they will only take a straight cash offer - believed to be in the region of £25 million - and will not consider any swap deal for the 26-year-old midfielder.

Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson took the decision to omit Mascherano from the side that lost 3-0 to Manchester City last night, and is eyeing a resolution to the long-running saga before the transfer window closes next week.

"His head is being turned by Barcelona, who are making overtures to him," he said.

"But until an offer matches our valuation he will stay with us.

"The player still remains unhappy. He is not interested in the justice of the fee, he just wants to move.

"It makes it uncomfortable for us. It's something to be resolved but certainly Javier was not in the right frame of mind so it was better to play with Lucas and Steven Gerrard, who certainly were committed to the cause."

Belarus international Hleb played for Arsenal for three seasons before moving to the Nou Camp for 15 million euros in 2008. However, the 29-year-old has found first team opportunities hard to come by in Spain, and has also been linked with a summer move to Tottenham.

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