Mascherano: Rafa could replace Mourinho

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Liverpool midfielder Javier Mascherano believes former coach Rafael Benitez would be the ideal man to replace Jose Mourinho at Inter Milan and could follow him to the San Siro.

Benitez's six-year stay at Anfield ended by mutual consent on Thursday and speculation is rife the Spaniard is set to take over the reigns at Inter. Reports suggest Inter president Massimo Moratti is set to meet Benitez in Sardinia and a deal could be sealed in the next 48 hours.

"Only Benitez could take the place of a coach like Mourinho," said the Argentina international. "He is a great coach. He has charisma, personality, a winning mentality."

He added: "Moreover, he will find himself brilliantly in Italy because of the tactical game. Rafa studies everything on the table and directs the team from the bench like a orchestra conductor.

"Inter have made a good choice. After Mourinho, he is the only man capable of continuing Inter's winning run."

Mascherano has spent the past three years at Anfield but contract negotiations have currently been put on hold.

The 25-year-old was heavily linked with a move to Barcelona last summer and admits he could soon leave Liverpool.

"Would I follow Benitez? I don't know," he said with a shrug. "At the moment I really know little about my future.

"But of course with Benitez at Liverpool I experienced three incredible years. His football is my football."

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