Liverpool given green light to sign familiar midfield enforcer in January

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Liverpool will be given the chance to bolster their midfield ranks with a familiar face when the January transfer window opens.

The Reds have been linked to a move for the out-of-favour Javier Mascherano, with the Barcelona star having been limited to just six La Liga appearances so far this season.

Despite Mascherano having two years left on his current deal in Spain, Liverpool have been offered first refusal on a deal to sign the 33-year-old this winter, according to TEAMtalk.

The experienced Argentine was a popular figure during his time Anfield, emerging as a formidable midfield enforcer in his 139 appearances for the club.

Since making the switch to the Nou Camp in 2010, Mascherano has won four La Liga titles, two Champions League titles, and two FIFA Club World Cups, as well as moulding into a viable centre-back option.

mascherano liverpool
Javier Mascherano in action for Liverpool against Fulham

Barcelona offering Mascherano back to the Reds seems a likely attempt to butter up Liverpool over a possible deal for Philippe Coutinho.

The Catalan giants look set to make another offer for the Brazilian come the turn of the year, having seen three bids rejected during the summer.

Coutinho lodged a formal transfer request a day before the new Premier League season, but saw his efforts come to no avail when club owners Fenway Sports Group insisted he would not be sold for any price.

Mascherano marks the latest in a long line of Barcelona stars to be linked with Liverpool, although he represents perhaps the most likely case given his history with the club.

Tuesday night’s shambolic collapse against Sevilla served as a reminder of the need for greater protection for the back four, not to mention leadership.

The fact Mascherano promises both could make him an intriguing option if reports of his availability are true.

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