Representatives of the Argentina captain were reported to be in Milan yesterday holding informal talks over his planned transfer and expect to formulate an offer from Inter over the next week.
Inter manager Rafael Benitez agreed as part of his settlement when he left Liverpool that he would not return to sign any of their players for the next three months.
Forcing the issue: Mascherano
However, Liverpool are well aware that Inter are the only real contenders for Mascherano's signature.
He intends to leave and they recognise it may be in their best interests to strike a deal and sell the 26-year-old before the saga overshadows Roy Hodgson's preparations for the new season.
Inter are unwilling to offer Liverpool's valuation of £30m instead they intend to deal closer to £20m - but could offer players in return such as former Portsmouth midfielder Sulley Muntari.
Mascherano, who has so far failed to return Hodgson's calls, is due to return to the Liverpool fold on Monday but has made it clear to friends that he wants to go.
Cash-strapped Liverpool could then use the funds to bring in necessary re-inforcements with left-back and striker among their priorities.
Meanwhile, AC Milan are showing interest in Liverpool's Ryan Babel although no formal contact has been made. Birmingham are also interested but Babel is not keen on a move to the midlands.
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