Javier Mascherano has reportedly turned down the chance to link up with Rafa Benitez at Napoli because he wants a return to the Premier League.
Liverpool have emerged as a possible destination for the Argentinean and Brendan Rodgers will be looking to add real quality to his side ahead of the Champions League and a possible title defence next season.
“The boy’s intentions were clear: he wants the Premier League.”
Mascherano, contracted to Barcelona until 2016 has been turned into a completely different player since his first spell at Anfield.
The 29-year-old is now commonly used in Barcelona’s defence and a move to Liverpool could see him go back to his old role as a holding midfielder.
The Reds have no reason to buy him as a central defender, an area where they are well stocked, but buying him as a defensive midfielder could create numerous benefits for the club.
The main one would be it would release players such as Lucas and Jordan Henderson to focus on more advanced roles, as well as allowing Steven Gerrard to focus on his attacking tendencies.
How much the potential deal would cost is difficult to gauge but it should be affordable to Liverpool with Mascherano staring at the final chunk of his player career as he’s about to turn 30-years-old.
He’d bring a winning mentality to Liverpool, which is also important as Brendan Rodgers will be looking to continue the success the side has built up over the course of this season.
He’d also provide a good dose of leadership to a side where Rodgers is increasingly using younger players in his starting eleven.
Here’s what Liverpool fans have made of the prospect of a Mascherano return to Anfield.
Mascherano back in an LFC shirt would be awesome! Even if at times he can be a liability he always gave it everything and fits our profile— ian w (@IanWhitehead66) April 24, 2014
Alonso and Mascherano back to Liverpool? I think one would be more probable at most I'm sad to say. But here's hoping. #lfc— Michael Bradley (@Kop_A_Holic) April 24, 2014
Can we get Xavi Alonso back instead of Mascherano? #LFC— Adam Forrest (@adamtomforrest) April 23, 2014
Javier Mascherano I hear wants to come back to @LFC same guy who refused to play 'cos he thought it was end of the road? Interesting times— Kunle Ola (@lakunle70) April 23, 2014
Mascherano wants a return to PL? Please Brendan, lad! Absolutely loved him when he played for us in his proper position #monster— Liam Williams (@wordsleyLFC) April 23, 2014
'Mascherano wants a return to PL.' Your ass done warming the bench enough mate?— Hunyum (@hunyum) April 23, 2014
Mascherano wants a return to the premier league? C'mon Liverpool, get the money out— Matty (@_Matty_Parton_) April 23, 2014
Xabi Alonso is the only former Liverpool player (who is still playing football) who i'd have back at Anfield. Mascherano-No. Torres-No.— YNWA (@ynwa_j4t96) April 16, 2014
So people want Mascherano back im not too sure myself, he did refuse to play against City which is not cool man ;-)— Shane (@Conwaino) April 23, 2014
Mascherano isnt the same player who left Anfield n is now 29. Get over it, don't need him back n if we are bringing a player back it's XABI— Adam Thomas (@Adamtomokop84) April 23, 2014
Would be phenomenal for Mascherano to come back, not sure how his wife would react though, but as for DM's there aren't many better.— David Hickman (@DavidHickman87) April 23, 2014