Liverpool are set to offer Javier Mascherano an astronomical pay increase in order to encourage him to remain at Anfield, and resist the charms of Barcelona.
British tabloid The Daily Mail is reporting that Mascherano's wife is unhappy in England, and did not want to return after a summer break in Argentina, leading to concern at Anfield that he may want to move soon.
As a result, the Liverpool hierarchy are set to offer him a new deal which would triple his wages, according to The Mail, as they look to keep the 25-year-old on Merseyside.
Last week, Reds boss Rafa Benitez had responded to talk of the player perhaps leaving Anfield, along with Xabi Alonso, by hinting that the two players owed Liverpool for igniting their careers in England.
"We signed Xabi when no one knew him, then renewed his contract two
years ago and it seemed he was happy," Benitez said, according to The Sun.
"With Mascherano, you know the situation, so both players know they owe Liverpool a lot. They are players the fans like and they owe us, in terms of loyalty.
"We have to be very clear - we are preparing our squad for next season, not talking of selling players."
Despite those combative words, Real Madrid are still hovering with intent over Alonso, and, should the offer of a new contract materialise, it would seem that there is still some anxiety on Merseyside over Mascherano's future as well.
Zack Wilson, Goal.com