Monday, November 16, 2009

Is Mascherano Barca Bound?

There seems to be almost constant speculation in regards to defensive midfielder Javier Mascherano’s Liverpool future. On what feels like a daily basis a story emerges about a possible transfer to Barcelona with some sections of the media going as far as to state he is certainly heading to Camp Nou in January in a £36million deal.

However, Spanish sports publication Sport has today reported that there is no ‘concrete foundation’ to the rumours. The player himself has apparently voiced his dislike of the English lifestyle and climate, but for a player earning so much money and being a regular in the starting eleven at a club like Liverpool surely this is a small price to pay (although, granted the weather is terrible).

Unless Mascherano hands in a transfer request then I just can’t see Rafael Benitez selling him. Another point to consider is the World Cup in South Africa next summer. Masch is a regular in the Argentina national side and he will retain his place in Diego Maradona’s midfield as long as he is playing regular first-team football. At Anfield he is pretty much guaranteed a starting place, but a move to Barcelona may see him sat on the sidelines until he has settled into the side and I doubt the 25-year-old would want to put his World Cup spot in jeopardy.

Sport have claimed to have been in contact with both Barca and Liverpool, with both denying they have been in contact with regards to the player. If this is true it would seem as if there is no truth in the speculation linking Masch with a move to Camp Nou.

There are a couple of other transfer rumours doing the rounds, here is a quick run through them.

Carlton Cole: It has been reported that both Liverpool and Manchester United are battling it out to sign West Ham’s Carlton Cole, who is valued at £20million. There could be some truth in this as Liverpool could certainly do with another striker, whether the Hammers would be willing to let him go or not remains to be seen.

Ryan Shawcross: Again, United have also been linked with Shawcross but the defender has just agreed a contract extension at Stoke and it seems unlikely he will head to Anfield or Old Trafford anytime soon.

Simon Kjaer: This 20-year-old defender has been getting rave reviews for is performances at Serie A side Palmero. However, the club don’t want to sell the Danish stopper and if a move does materialise, it will be next summer.

Eljero Elia: Hamburg’s Dutch winger only made the switch to the Bundesliga in the summer but is already attracting interest. Reports suggest the Reds will make a £15million move in January – with Ryan Babel possibly heading the other way.

Eduardo: Arsenal striker Eduardo has been linked with a £10million switch to Anfield in January – for me this is just pure speculation and I can’t see this one happening at all to be totally honest.

Written by Gareth Freeman, a sports writer promoting Irish racing and racing tips for today for Betfair.

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