Liverpool's Javier Mascherano wanted by Lionel Messi at Barcelona
Benitez has already warned Barca off making an approach for Mascherano, insisting even a £50 million bid would not tempt him to part with the Argentina international. The Spanish champions have reportedly tested the water with a £25m offer and are hopeful the lure of La Liga, and the opportunity to play with Messi, will prompt Mascherano to request a transfer. Messi said: "I would like him to join, who would not want to play with great players like Javier? I hope he can come here." Despite being champions of both Spain and Europe, Barcelona have been cast into the shadows somewhat recently by the cash-fuelled juggernaut that is Real Madrid. Determined to wrestle the top slot back from their fiercest rivals, Real have already committed almost £140m to signing Kaka from AC Milan and Cristiano Ronaldo from Manchester United. Real have also been linked with moves for Franck Ribery, Zlatan Ibrahimovich, Antonio Valencia, David Villa, Karim Benzema, Xabi Alonso and Alvaro Arbeloa, to name but a few. Barca, meanwhile, have been comparitively quite on the transfer front, with Mascherano the only name that keeps cropping up. While Madrid are going for a complete overahul under Florentino Perez, Messi does not believe Barca need to make many altercations to the current squad. He said: "It seems that Real Madrid are building a good team. But we already have one and we will see if we can continue that."
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