Javier Mascherano Rumors: Top Five Moves for the Liverpool Midfielder
It's no secret the Argentinian captain, Javier Mascherano, is one of the top transfer targets this summer.
For over a year now, there have been "talks" about Mascherano departing from Liverpool, but now the "talks" are turning into real possibilities.
After the World Cup, Mascherano was a bit quiet during the transfer period, but now the defensive midfielder is pleased to be wanted by the top clubs in the world.
After friendly talks with Liverpool manager, Roy Hodgson, Mascherano has been granted his wish to leave the Anfield Club if a team can accomodate his, and his current club's wishes.
A source close to Mascherano reportedly told ESPNsoccernet, "He was asked to stay on for one more year, he agreed, so now it is time for him to go. It was all very pleasant and it is now a question of the two clubs who are interested in him making an acceptable offer to Liverpool."
Right now, Mascherano is under contract until June 2010, so the teams who wish to sign him will have to find an agreement with Liverpool.
The asking price for Mascherano is reportedly marked at 25 million Euros, which means teams are going to have to match it in order for the Liverpool hierarchy to accept the transfer.
Until then, he still has one year left on his Liverpool contract, which means he is going to have to find a deal that is suitable for both teams, or he is remaining with Liverpool.
So, the question is, what are the best potential moves for the star midfielder?
Here are the top five possible destinations for Javier Mascherano.
It is rumored that one of the reasons Mascherano wants out is because his wife doesn't speak English, and hasn't settled down in Liverpool.
Who can blame her? Liverpool isn't the most aesthetically pleasing place on the planet, but what about about Valencia?
That could do.
Without David Villa and David Silva, Valencia are going to have to bolster up their squad if they are going to compete with FC Barcelona dn Real Madrid in the Spanish Premier League.
After receiving 34.2 million for Villa, and 24 million for Silva, the club has some extra cash to spend on Mascherano.
He would be a prized addition for Valencia, who would benefit tremendously from the leadership Mascherano could provide for the Spanish club.
This is one of the longer shots for Valencia to land Mascherano, but it can still happen.
4. Manchester City
Roberto Mancini has already proven he is dedicated to challenging the top clubs in the world, as has brought in high-profile players to Manchester City like Yaya Toure, Jerome Boateng, David Silva, and Aleksandar Kolarov.
85 million Euros have been disposed all together for these players, which seems to be the best way to turn mediocre clubs into premier ones.
Mancini knows this, which is why it isn't too farfetched to say Mancini is looking for a defensive midfielder like Mascherano to add even more tremendous talent to his squad.
Just like Real Madrid, Manchester United, and FC Barcelona have done, Roberto Mancini and Manchester City are using their money to their advantage to create an all-star club that wins championships.
Mascherano would be a perfect addition to City's squad.
3. Real Madrid
Could Liverpool and Real Madrid swap players?
Royston Drenthe of Real Madrid is frustrated with his playing time for his Spanish club, and has reportedly shown interest in Liverpool, who is in dire need of a left back.
Javier Mascherano has shown some interest in the Spanish club team giant, and would be compatible with Real Madrid's style of play.
Players like Kaka and Xavi Alonso, who are more offensively minded, would welcome Mascherano's defensive mindset, and could improve Real Madrid defensively in the midfield.
Real Madrid already has a star-studded cast all over the pitch, and with Mascherano joining the squad, this team could challenge the current Spanish champions, FC Barcelona.
Although he would be a valuable asset to whatever team he may go to, Real Madrid would is close to the top as they are in need of a defensive midfielder of Mascherano's capabilities.
2. FC Barcelona
Last year FC Barcelona offered big bucks for Mascherano, but Liverpoolx hierarchy wanted the 26-year-old midfielder to stick around for at least one more year.
Could Barcelona go for round two with Liverpool?
Mascherano would be yet another addition to an already unbelievably talented Barcelona squad that is looking to continue its winning ways.
Could you imagine Mascherano with players like Iniesta, Xavi, and Busquets?
The only problem here would be the asking price from Liverpool.
Barcelona have showed in the past they are willing to spend big money to get Mascherano, and have at least 30 million at their disposal.
They have offered 30 million for Cesc Fabregas (Arsenal), which was not successful. It is reported they are even willing to increase that price to 33 million.
If the talks with Fabregas fail miserably, Barcelona will be looking at other options.
At only 26-years-old, Mascherano is still in his prime, and could give at least five more years for Barcelona.
Not to mention, Liverpool's asking price for Mascherano is right down FC Barcelona's alley.
1. Inter Milan
It has been said to be a dream come true.
The best club team in the world getting perhaps the best defensive midfielder in the world.
It's all gravy baby.
In so many ways, this deal is the best thing for the star midfielder who is searching for a new place to call home.
Mascherano's agent, Walter Tamer, said, "Think about it, the strongest team in the world wants him, a team where many of Mascherano's compatriots play, and a side that is guided by a coach with whom Mascherano has a personal bond."
Rafael Benitez, Liverpool's former manager, has maintained a positive relationship with Mascherano since his departure from Anfield.
Benitez was the manager of Liverpool at the time Barcelona offered big bucks for Mascherano, which Benitez swiftly turned down.
It is apparent Benitez is loyal to Mascherano, and is more than willing to acquire the defensive midfielder.
Reuniting with Benitez is very inticing to Mascherano, who wishes to play under his former manager, but this time in Milan.
Internazionale, affectionately called "Inter," hold the title as the current Champions League Winners, and are ready to add Mascherano to increase their chances of a repeat performance this year.
A bid of 25 million Euros could be all that is needed for this deal to work out, and would not only send Mascherano to play for his former beloved manager, but to play for a team where he would feel most comfortable.
His compatriots play for Internazionale, and the defensive schemes which are proven to be so effective, are perfect for Mascherano's defensive style of play.
It would be a match made in heaven for Inter Milan and Javier Mascherano.
Mascherano's agent Tamer said it best.
"For him to be linked to Inter has a magical taste...it's a dream."