Benitez - Masch will stay
Reds boss expects permanent deal
By Peter Fraser. Last Updated: January 25, 2008 4:35pm
Benitez: Transfer work
Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez believes the sale of Mohamed Sissoko will ensure Javier Mascherano remains at Anfield.
"I don't know the exact position now but I talked to Mascherano and he wants to stay."
Rafa Benitez Quotes of the week
Mascherano is currently on loan on Merseyside and Benitez is desperate to secure the midfielder on a permanent deal during the January transfer window.
The Argentine's temporary deal expires at the end of the season and he could then leave Liverpool with a number of European clubs circling.
However, both Benitez and Mascherano have expressed a desire to extend the 23-year-old's stay and the Reds boss is confident Liverpool owners George Gillett and Tom Hicks will broker a deal.
And Benitez has now hinted that the expected sale of fellow midfielder Sissoko, who lost his place in the Liverpool team following Mascherano's arrival, to Juventus could finance a permanent stay.
"It could help," Benitez told Liverpool's official website when asked if Sissoko's sale could finance a deal.
"We don't have too much news but we are working with Mohamed Sissoko and I think we are close to a final solution which will be good for him and the club.
"I have confidence Mascherano will stay with us. I don't know the exact position now but I talked to the player yesterday and he wants to stay.
"I have had some contact with the owners. We were talking before about Sissoko and Mascherano. We are working and being pro-active."