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CSKA deny interest in Albert Riera

CSKA Moscow have denied holding an interest in Albert Riera, but the Liverpool winger is still expected to move to the Russian Premier League.

Riera was suspended by Liverpool following his outspoken criticism of Rafael Benitez on a Spanish radio station and the midfielder also revealed in the same interview that a move to Russia was a possibility.

It has since been reported that CSKA Moscow were close to completing a £6 million transfer for Riera, who is hoping that a move away from Anfield will increase his chances of featuring at the World Cup finals for Spain.

But CSKA, who can sign players as the Russian transfer window is currently open, have denied any interest in Riera.

"We know that the CSKA brand is very attractive for any player who is searching for a new challenge but Albert Riera is not in our plans," said a club spokesman. "It has come as a surprise to us that we are interested in this player."

Riera's wife is from Russia and it is reported that Spartak Moscow are now hoping to arrange a loan deal for the 27-year-old.

One player unlikely to leave Anfield is Javier Mascherano, though, as the Argentinean midfielder, who has been linked with Barcelona in recent seasons, is ready to sign a contract extension at Anfield.

"The club are talking with my agents," Mascherano said. "I don't like to be involved in the contract meetings so I leave that to my agents and the people at the club. Liverpool know I want to stay. I don't think it will be difficult to arrive at a deal and we will see what happens in the next few weeks.

"I have never said I was not happy at Liverpool. That was the press. "I am happy here and the only way I can show that is with my performances on the pitch. I always try to do everything I can to help my team-mates and manager. Sometimes I can do well and sometimes I can't, but I always look to give 100% in training and in games."

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