AFTER watching a pile of Betamax tapes of the player in action, then receiving the go-ahead from the club’s money men on his pager, Inter Milan sporting director Marco Branca put down his Minidisc player for a moment and decided to fax Liverpool with an improved offer for Javier Mascherano.
Branca told Il Corriere Dello Sport;
“I sent an offer to Liverpool by fax on Tuesday and am waiting for a reply from them. We’re not speaking to the player at the moment because we want to do this in the right way and make sure that Liverpool are happy.
Everybody knows that Mascherano would like to change team and to change country. He also has a good relationship with our manager Rafa Benitez.
We’ve made a very good offer, around the amount they are asking for [believed to be £20 million]. We have a strong team here, the best in Europe, but we would like to add one or two players to make us even stronger.”
Inter’s offer is designed to steal a march on Barcelona, Mascherano’s preferred destination, who have so far only tabled a pitifully low £12 million offer for the Argentinian midfielder.
Meanwhile, Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson has given Mascherano a four-day deadline to sort out his immediate future;
“I am seriously hoping that in the next couple of days it will be sorted out one way or another, although I have no idea which way that will be. I wouldn’t want to say he has played his last game for Liverpool.
The negotiations are ongoing between the two clubs and if he had played here [in the Europa League] it might have prejudiced the transfer and I didn’t wish to do that to the player.
Tomorrow night [Liverpool’s Europa League tie with Trabzonspor] was out of the question, but Sunday is very much a question because I think by then I should know one way or another whether he is going to play for Liverpool this season or Barcelona.”
Or Inter Milan.