Reds set to price Barcelona out of Mascherano move

Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez is so keen to hold on to Argentinean international captain Javier Mascherano that he will demand a transfer fee in excess of £40million for the midfielder.

Barcelona have once again been reported to be interested in signing Mascherano with the new transfer window fast approaching.

But Benitez is ready to reject any approaches from the Catalan giants unless the price is right.

However, reports over the last few months have suggested that Mascherano is discontent with life on Merseyside and could push Rafa to accept a bid in the same way that saw Xabi Alonso leave for Real Madrid in August.

After a successful loan spell at Anfield in 2007, Liverpool signed Mascherano on a permanent basis in a deal worth a reported £18.6million that included Mascherano’s wages for a four year deal.

Benitez, however, is keen to offer Mascherano a new contract at the club, following the likes of Steven Gerrard, Fernando Torres, Dirk Kuyt and Daniel Agger.