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Barcelona close in on Mascherano

Javier Mascherano is set to join Barcelona in a deal worth £35m according to reports in the Daily Mail this morning.

The Liverpool midfielder is alleged to have told Reds manager Rafael Benitez that he wants to leave the Premier League because his wife Fernanda is unhappy living in the UK.

Mascherano's Liverpool future has been the subject of much speculation since the end of the season although Benitez has made it clear that the Argentina midfielder is not for sale at any cost.

However, the Mail claims that Mascherano's wife is refusing to return to the UK which could prompt the midfield enforcer to swap Anfield for the Camp Nou. The player's agent, Walter Tamer, is reported to have been in talks with Barcelona general manager Raul Sanlehy about a possible deal.

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