Benitez: Mascherano is not for sale

Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez has rubbished suggestions that Javier Mascherano is set swap Anfield for Barcelona during the summer transfer window.

Mascherano's agent Walter Tamer yesterday fuelled speculation that his client would welcome a move to the newly crowned European Champions but Benitez was quick to dismiss the claims insisting that the Argentina midfielder is not for sale.

"Mascherano has no price," Benitez told the Red's website. "Barcelona could not afford to match his value to Liverpool Football Club. We do not want to sell and Javier is very happy here."

The Spaniard continued: "I have spoken to Javier two or three times this summer – the last time was only last week – and he was very happy, very positive. He gave me the private number of his agent, Walter Tamer, and again the conversation was very positive and was all about football."

"Walter told me that two clubs with big, big names were asking after Mascherano – and I told him to forget it, that Javier was happy in Liverpool and he was not for sale," Benitez continued. "So I was surprised to see the agent's comments today. He has a long contract and any club can forget about bidding for him. They can offer £40m or even £50m, we don't want to sell."

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