Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson has played down speculation linking midfielder Javier Mascherano with an imminent move away from the club.
When Hodgson told press last week that he had not yet heard from the Argentine international, some reports in the media believed this signalled an exit intention from Mascherano.
Mascherano has been linked with a big money move to Inter Milan this summer, a move that international teammate Gabriel Milito was quoted as saying was “likely” to happen.
But Hodgson is not worried by his lack of contact with the 26-year old, who is currently with his family in Argentina.
He told talkSPORT, “The speculation about him leaving continues, but I must also put the record straight and say that as yet it is pure speculation because we have heard nothing from Inter and heard nothing other than he will come back and work with us.
“To be honest, if you’re a player and a new manager comes in, you don’t have a lot to say to him.
“We’ll have plenty to talk about when we start working together – we don’t necessarily need to have lots of small talk over the telephone.
“I am disappointed it’s been flagged up as he’s let me or the club down in some way. I don’t see it that way at all.
“That’s been exaggerated and it’s good to have a chance to put the record straight. I left a voice message – obviously I wanted to congratulate him on the World Cup that he had, to say I was really looking forward to seeing him again and wish him a good holiday.
“I remember actually saying, ‘Don’t feel as though you have got to ring back. As far as I’m concerned, it’s just important for you to know I am trying to contact you and I am counting on you.'”