Rumour Mill: Mascherano, Villa latest

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Liverpool midfielder Javier Mascherano continues to be linked with a move to European Champions Barcelona, with reports this morning suggesting the Catalan club are lining up a £45million offer to sign the Argentine international captain.

Reports say that Mascherano and his wife are ‘œunsettled’ on Merseyside and are looking for a way out. Some reports suggest that his agent, Walter Tamer, has met with Barcelona officials this week over a proposed transfer to the Nou Camp.

However, Mascherano has already been quoted this summer as being happy at Liverpool, looking forward to the new season and even urging manager Rafa Benitez to sign international teammate Carlos Tevez.

Benitez also confirmed a week ago, ‘œHe has a long contract and any club can forget about bidding for him. Barcelona can offer £40m or even £50m, we don’t want to sell.’

Doesn’t look like he’s going anywhere, Barca.

LFC PlayerThe La Liga giants have also been linked with a move for Pepe Reina, who ironically played for Barcelona against Liverpool in the UEFA Cup Semi-Final in 2001.

But again it looks like Barcelona will be disappointed with the 26-year-old, who played 30 games for Barcelona between 2000 and 2002 already excited about Liverpool’s title charge next season.

Meanwhile Spanish striker David Villa, who has been linked with several big clubs including the Reds recently following Valencia’s financial woes, looks set to have snubbed a move to the Premier League in favour of joining Real Madrid’s new ‘˜galacticos’ era.

On Tuesday, Fernando Torres urged Benitez to sign the 27-year-old who scored Spain’s winner in their 1-0 victory over Iraq in the FIFA Confederations Cup in South Africa yesterday.

LFC PlayerAndrea Dossena has denied speculation that he is unhappy at Liverpool and wants to move back to Italy.

Yesterday his agent said that if Juventus were to come in with an offer for him, he’d have to seriously consider it.

But the Italian full-back says, “I never said I wanted to go away from Liverpool. I’m happy in Liverpool and I want to stay. Journalists say ‘you come back to Italy’. I want to stay in Liverpool.”

And the Reds have been linked with a move for 20-year-old Uruguayan midfielder Nicolas Lodeiro, who Sky Sports report BBC Sport own economic rights for. Yeah, we had to do a double-take on that too!

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