No bids for Mascherano – Hodgson

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Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson says they have not received any bids for wantaway midfielder Javier Mascherano.

The Argentina captain told new boss Hodgson he wishes to leave the club when he returned to pre-season training and earlier this week explained his wish is due to wanting to play in a different country.

Inter Milan and Barcelona have been the two clubs heavily linked with the combative midfielder, but Hodgson insists there have been no bids yet and furthermore hopes he stays at the club.

“I can quite categorically state there has been no offer from any club for him,” said the former Fulham boss.

“We made it clear to him that if the offer he wanted came along we probably would not stand in his way but that offer has not come along and he is working hard to play for Liverpool.

“He is a realistic player. He is playing for Liverpool and is not looking for a move to a Spanish second division team – there are very few clubs in the world that can even consider having Javier Mascherano on their books.

“If he wants to leave he will be expecting a club of a similar stature to Liverpool to come along, and at the moment they haven’t so I’m presuming he is very happy to stay here.”

Hodgson also insists new signing Christian Poulsen isn’t a replacement for Mascherano, “”It is not a question of Christian replacing Javier at all. We didn’t take Christian to replace anyone, we took him in because we wanted to improve the size and quality of our squad.

“I am happy to have both players; we are going to have a lot of games to play this year, and we are going to need a lot of players.”

However, as optimistic as Hodgson is that Mascherano may remain at Anfield, Inter Milan are expected to make their move once the protracted transfer of Mario Ballotelli to Man City is completed.