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Javier Mascherano contract talks please Liverpool boss

Liverpool midfielder Javier Mascherano
Mascherano has played in 109 games since joining Liverpool in 2007

Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez has revealed the club are in talks to extend the contract of Argentine midfielder Javier Mascherano.

The 25-year-old has been widely linked with Barcelona, with some Sunday papers stating a £30m fee was in the offing.

But Benitez insists the player is happy and negotiations are ongoing to renew a deal that has two years remaining.

"We are happy and he is happier now. The last conversations that we had were very positive," said Benitez.

"We were talking before and we will sit down sooner rather than later and talk about the future."

Javier is doing really well and has come back to his best

Rafael Benitez

Mascherano was largely anonymous as Liverpool struggled to a goalless draw at Blackburn on Saturday, a result that left the club seventh in the Premier League table, but his manager believes he is well worth an improved deal.

"We were talking with him and his agent a month ago about our idea and his idea," said Benitez.

"Everyone can see he's doing really well and has come back to his best. We were really pleased to talk to him to make progress."

Reports over the summer, hinting that the Argentina captain was keen to move to a Spanish-speaking country for family reasons, sparked rumours of a move to Barcelona.

606: DEBATE
Redinthehead

In response, Benitez has said an offer of £50m would not be enough to sign a player who initially joined on loan after a spell with West Ham and then cost £18m when his contract was bought from Media Sports Investments.

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

But Mascherano's agent, Walter Tamer, said at the time that attention from Barcelona made the player "very proud" and a transfer would be "feasible".



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see also
Sunday's gossip column
06 Dec 09 |  Gossip
Liverpool determined to keep duo
14 Jun 09 |  Liverpool
Mascherano dismisses exit rumours
11 May 09 |  Liverpool
Mascherano 'will stay' at Anfield
06 Dec 07 |  Liverpool


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