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Last Updated: Friday, 6 August, 2004, 07:22 GMT 08:22 UK
Arsenal 'want Mascherano'
Argentina midfielder Javier Mascherano
Arsenal have made a 7.5m bid for Argentina midfielder Javier Mascherano, according to reports in South America.

The Gunners are said to be lining up the 20-year-old as a replacement for Patrick Vieira, who looks poised to join Real Madrid.

Mascherano is one of South America's biggest stars and has made a massive impression for Argentina in midfield.

His club River Plate said on Thursday evening they were giving "serious consideration" to the offer.

Director Mario Israel said: "Mascherano is a very talented footballer and any offer must appreciate that he has ability beyond his years"

Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger was apparently impressed by the Argentine during the pre-season tournament in Amsterdam, which featured the Gunners and River Plate, along with Dutch side Ajax and Greek club Panathinaikos.

A tight marker and fierce tackler, Mascherano shone in last month's Copa America, helping Argentina reach the final before eventually losing to Brazil on penalties.

Real reveal Vieira hitch
06 Aug 04  |  Arsenal

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