Saturday, March 20, 2010

Mascherano waiting on Liverpool to take the initiative

In a week when Rafa Benítez asked for others to follow Pepe Reina’s example and sign themselves up to his long-term Liverpool project, Javier Mascherano has suggested that it is the club, not the players, that need to be more proactive.

Mascherano has had his say on the good ship Liverpool, the direction it is going, and why he hasn’t agreed a new deal.
It is understood that Mascherano is not waiting for the same assurances as Torres about Liverpool’s transfer budget or policy before he agrees to a new deal.
Rather, it appears that all he is after is for someone from the club to move the situation forward. A deal worth £100,000-a-week has been mooted in order to seal his future on Merseyside until at least 2012 and to ward off interest from suitors including Champions League holders Barcelona. However, he is believed to be holding out for a four-year deal to 2014.
But if the deal is already done, nobody has bothered to tell the player about it. “I’m waiting for an answer,” he said. “They know what I want – it depends on them and not me.”
When Liverpool visit Old Trafford in Sunday, Mascherano will walk out into the arena that has given him his two most contrasting memories since he signed for the club on loan in February 2007.
Firstly, there was his mental implosion on the touchline following his draconian dismissal by referee Steve Bennett in Liverpool’s 3-0 loss in March 2008, before happier times last season as a member of the side that beat United in an astonishing 4-1 victory.
But the 25 year-old insists he is not dwelling on the past. It is clearly all about the United match for him and he is hoping that another victory against Sir Alex Ferguson’s side on their own soil will unnerve Aston Villa, Manchester City and Tottenham to allow Liverpool to secure fourth spot.
“It’s difficult for us, for the supporters and I think it will be hard but in our minds we know that we can beat them.
“We have to win for us because we need to be in the Champions League next season. It will be hard for the other teams involved in fourth place to take if we beat United – it will be a shock.”

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