Liverpool and Barcelona have finally reached an agreement over the transfer of Argentina captain Javier Mascherano.
A Barcelona statement this morning reads “Barcelona and Liverpool have reached a principal agreement on the transfer of Javier Mascherano.”
The player is expected to agree personal terms on a four year contract and complete his medical over the weekend.
The exact fee has not yet been disclosed but it is believed the initial fee is around €16 million (£13m), with a further €6 million (£5m) in potential add-ons. Representing a potential value of £18m – the same price Liverpool paid West Ham for the midfielder in 2007.
Mascherano has made his desire to leave the club clear, reportedly refusing to play against Man City on Monday and leading to Roy Hodgson giving the Spanish side a deadline of Sunday to complete the transfer.
With the transfer window closing next Wednesday, Hodgson will be hoping he will now be given the money from Mascherano’s sale to reinvest in a squad that is now looking rather thin – especially given Alberto Aquilani’s departure on loan to Juventus earlier in the week, leaving on Lucas, Steven Gerrard and new signing Christian Poulsen as central midfielders.
One player Hodgson is seemingly closing in on is left back Paul Konchesky. A deal worth around £3m is expected to be completed once Fulham sign a replacement.
It is unlikely that Hodgson will be given all the money from Mascherano’s sale, meaning this will be the fourth successive transfer window that Liverpool have made a net profit on transfers.
The Reds have already sold Yossi Benayoun (£5.5m), Albert Riera (£4.5m), Mikel San Jose (£2.6m) and Diego Cavalieri (£1.2m), as well as loan outing Alberto Aquilani, Philipp Degen and Krizstian Nemeth.
The two biggest signings of the summer meanwhile have been Joe Cole and Milan Jovanovic – both free signings. While Christian Poulsen (£4.5m) and Brad Jones (£2.3m) have joined youngsters Danny Wilson (£2m) and Jonjo Shelvey (£1.8m).
If Mascherano’s initial fee is £13m, that means Liverpool have made a profit of £16.6m so far this summer.