As Liverpool fans woke around the world this morning to see what the transfer window had in store for them prior to the weekend, little did they expect to see that the news they would be greeted with, would be concerning the exits of Dirk Kuyt, Javier Mascherano & Alberto Aquilani.
Speculation delivered the concept that fresh from their sale of Mario Balotelli to Manchester City, with the coffers brimming a little fuller than normal, Javier Mascherano might finally get his move away from Anfield and rejoin his old mentor. With the figures of £23m (Mascherano) and £12m (Kuyt) reported to be on offer from Inter, Liverpool may have been looking at being £35m richer but minus two of their star players. The comments of Kuyt’s agent, tallied with the players exclusion from Europa tie against Trabzonspor on Thursday made sure that the news rattled through the Liverpool fan base with startling alarm.
However, Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson has commented on the situation following a mid week conversation with Inter president Massimo Moratti.
The Liverpool manager said: “I spoke to Massimo Moratti on Wednesday about the fact they are not going to buy Liverpool players, and Dirk comes into that category doesn’t he? I believe Inter were only interested in two of our players and they are not going to buy them. Moratti said they are not going to do that.”
Both Liverpool and Hodgson had recently publicly challenged both Inter & Barcelona to table the £25m asking price for Mascherano, reiterating that despite the players wish to move to another country and their acknowledgement of that, it would only be done so on LFC terms and when the clubs valuation of the player was met. Hodgson, who has previously worked under Moratti during his two spells at San Siro in the 90s, had it confirmed to him that current European champions would not be making an offer on either player. It had also been previously mentioned that the interest in Mascherano from the Milan club had been from very more from former Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez, as opposed to that of Moratti, whose transfer targets lay in other positions for the team.
Previously Rob Jansen, the agent of Dirk Kuyt, had very much kept the options surrounding the situation with Inter Milan open by way of the following comments:
“There is real interest from Inter, but Dirk has not yet decided if he wants to leave Liverpool.”, Jansen said.
“This is also a complicated transfer. Dirk Kuyt is a key player for Liverpool, he has an ongoing contract and was recently in the World Cup final.”
“He may move to Inter or just stay at Liverpool. There is also the possibility that a player from Inter could be included in the deal with Dirk Kuyt.”
During the course of the afternoon a Barcelona press conference with manager Pep Gaurdiola, led to a little speculation that Javier Mascherano might not be completely off their radar, as he suggested that further investment could be made in his squad which is currently operating off 19 first team players. However sporting director, Andoni Zubizarreta, has previously ruled out a Barcelona bid for Mascherano, leaving the player looking at extending his Anfield career.