After having a successful premier league campaign last term and pushing United for the title upto the very end Liverpool have learned one thing about themselves - they have a title winning squad. And with Ronaldo gone to Madrid they look pretty stronger than United as of now.They challenge they face this transfer window is a bit different - they don't need to buy a chunk of squad players this time around - the spine of the team is already in place with :
Now for the second stage of Benitez title assault he must not loose any of these players. But recent interest from Real and Barcelona for midfield duo Alonso/Mascherano may end up as an obstacle for the Red's title assault next season.
The Alonso situation:
Rafa Benitez must be gutted he even thought about selling Alonso to Juventus for £16m last summer. The scintillating performances Alonso produced last season has attracted attention from a host of top clubs across Europe - most notibly Real Madrid. Real have once again usurped the Galactico era by signing Kaka & Ronaldo ; and with big names like Benzema and Ribery to follow suit, Alonso will surely be tempted to join Real. But Benitez has claimed that Alonso is not for sale and some reports suggests that even a £35m bid would not be enough to price away the talented midfielder.
The Mascherano situation:
Mascherano has been tempted by his Argentine team-mate & friend Lionel Messi to join him at the Nou Camp. The player himself might be interested in joining the Catalans after the impressive treble winning season they have had. There are some reports that Mascherano is unhappy because of his wages - a meagre £25,000 and would conside staying if that problem is resovled whereas some state that his pregnant wife does not want to return to England. Benitez is ready to treble his wages but the current scenario is yet unclear.
- Recent reports suggests that both Real and Barcelona will table a combined bid nearing £60m for Alonso and Mascherano.
- There is another twist in Alonso saga as well - Real sociedad would get 20% of the transfer fee offered to Liverpool but this clause is valid upto July 18. So expect the saga to sulk for another 3 weeks!
- Sources close to Alonso reveal that he isn't agitated to ignite a move to the Bernabeu and would be more than happy to stay at Anfield.
- Barcelona are heavily interested in Mascherano and will start off with a £25m bid which is likely to get rejected but anything in excess of £30m accompanied by a plea from Mascherano would compel Benitez to sell the Argentine captain.