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Aug 23, 2010

Want-away Javier Mascherano goes on strike

Javier Mascherano refused to play for Liverpool against Manchester City on Monday night as he seeks to negotiate a transfer away from the club.

• Hodgson stands firm over Mascherano
• Mascherano can go for right price
• Mascherano set to leave Liverpool

Mascherano is effectively going on strike and doubts will be raised whether he will ever turn out for the club again.

The player has previously said that he wants out of Anfield this summer, although Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson has remained confident of keeping his star midfielder. However, despite Inter Milan dropping their interest in the Argentine, Barcelona are reported to have made a bid for his services.

The Guardian claim that the bid is €15 million (£12.2 million) and includes former Arsenal midfielder Alexander Hleb and Uruguayan defender Martin Caceres as makeweights.

Liverpool are understood to have rejected the offer as they want €30 million (£24.4 million) up front with no player exchanges as part of the deal.

Mascherano was excellent in the opening draw against Arsenal, but missed the Europa League tie through Trabzonspor through injury - thus allowing him to play in European club competitions if he secures a move before the end of the transfer window next week.

"He is not here tonight because there is some speculation about his future and his mind is not right, so it was not correct to select him," Hodgson told Sky Sports ahead of the City game.

Hodgson has not given up hope of getting the chance to select Mascherano though, as the club will not shift from their valuation of the player.

"Hopefully it will be resolved before the end of the transfer window and I will get the chance to select him again, but it was not right tonight," Hodgson added. "The club has got a position. We are under pressure from other clubs who want to sign him. There may come a time when the offer matches our valuation, but until that day he stays with us."

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