Inter Milan's 'joke' offer for Mascherano rejected
Mascherano cost Liverpool £18m
An Inter Milan offer for Argentine Javier Mascherano has been summarily dismissed by Liverpool's Roy Hodgson.
The 26-year-old Argentine, who is also a target for Barcelona, was brought to Anfield by former Liverpool manager and current Inter coach Rafael Benitez.
"We received a fax about Mascherano, but it was a joke fax," said Reds boss Hodgson after the win over Trabzonspor.
"There was no chance we'd even consider it and it was just playing lip service that Benitez wanted the player."
Liverpool's Dutch forward Dirk Kuyt has also been linked with a move to Inter, but after Liverpool's Europa League 3-1 aggregate qualifying win in Turkey, the Dutch forward was adamant he was happy to stay at Anfield.
However the future of Mascherano, who did not travel to Trabzon for the Reds' Europa League play-off second leg tie, remains very much up in the air, with Barcelona yet to meet Liverpool's asking price for a player that cost them £18m three and-a-half seasons ago .
Prior to Thursday's match Hodgson has not ruled out selecting the Argentina captain for Sunday's Premier League game against West Brom, despite Barcelona's interest in the midfielder.
"I am seriously hoping that in the next couple of days it will be sorted out one way or another," said Hodgson. "Although I have no idea which way that will be."
Hodgson added: "I wouldn't want to say he has played his last game for Liverpool.
"The negotiations are ongoing between the two clubs and if he had played here [in the Europa League] it might have prejudiced the transfer and I didn't wish to do that to the player.
"But Sunday is very much a question because I think by then I should know one way or another whether he is going to play for Liverpool this season or Barcelona."
Hodgson had said the sticking point with Barcelona was that the amount offered was "way, way below" Liverpool's reported £25m valuation of Mascherano.
Some reports circulating on Monday evening suggested the Catalan giants were offering only £12m for a player who cost Liverpool £18m three and a half seasons ago.
Hodgson has been consistent in conceding Liverpool would let Mascherano leave provided they received the right offer, honouring an agreement the player struck 12 months ago when Barcelona first expressed their interest.
Earlier in the week, he told BBC Sport: "His head is being turned by Barcelona, who are making overtures to him.
"But until an offer matches our valuation he will stay with us."
Mascherano join Liverpool in 2007 from West Ham, initially on a loan deal that was turned into a four-year contract the following year.
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