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Page last updated at 15:25 GMT, Sunday, 14 June 2009 16:25 UK

Liverpool determined to keep duo

Javier Mascherano (left) and Xabi Alonso
Mascherano (left) & Alonso are key figures as Benitez looks to 2009/10

Liverpool have reaffirmed their desire to keep Javier Mascherano and Xabi Alonso, and insist they have not received any bids for the midfielders.

"Liverpool has received no official approach or offer from any club regarding the players," said a statement on the club website.

Recent reports hinted that Mascherano, 25, was keen to move to a Spanish-speaking country for family reasons.

Alonso and Mascherano have been linked with both Real Madrid and Barcelona.

The statement continued: "Neither is for sale and furthermore Liverpool has no interest in the long list of Spanish-based players being linked with a move to Anfield as part of any deal."

Real strikers Alvaro Negredo and Alberto Bueno have been suggested as part of a possible deal involving Spain international Alonso.

It follows an earlier denial from Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez after he spoke to Mascherano and his agent, Walter Tamer.

"Barcelona could not afford to match his (Mascherano's) value to Liverpool - they can offer £50m, we don't want to sell," Benitez said.

"Clubs can forget about bidding for him - he has no price and he's happy here."


Tamer had claimed that Champions League winners Barcelona were interested in signing the Argentine.

Benitez added: "I have spoken to Javier two or three times this summer - the last time was only last week - and he was very happy, very positive.

"He gave me the private number of his agent Walter Tamer and again the conversation was very positive and was all about football.

"Walter told me that two clubs with big, big names were asking after Mascherano - and I told him to forget it, that Javier was happy in Liverpool and he was not for sale.

"So I was surprised to see the agent's comments."

Tamer stated earlier this week: "It would make Javier very proud that a club like Barcelona pay him attention after such an incredible year. I believe a transfer would be feasible."

Mascherano moved to Liverpool from West Ham in 2007 and has made 90 appearances for the Reds.

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see also
Wednesday's gossip column
10 Jun 09 |  Gossip
Mascherano dismisses exit rumours
11 May 09 |  Liverpool
Mascherano wants Reds consistency
05 Mar 09 |  Liverpool
Mascherano hopes for league boost
26 Feb 09 |  Liverpool
Mascherano plays down captaincy
05 Nov 08 |  Liverpool
Mascherano 'will stay' at Anfield
06 Dec 07 |  Liverpool
Mascherano free to join Liverpool
20 Feb 07 |  Liverpool

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Kenya Broadcasting Corporation Liverpool determined to keep duo - 31 hrs ago
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