Javier Mascherano Barcelona bound

THE long-awaited transfer of Javier Mascherano to Barcelona is set to be completed this weekend after Liverpool accepted a bid from the Catalans.

The midfielder almost joined the Primera Division champions 12 months ago only for former manager Rafael Benitez to eventually price the player out of a move. However, with the 26-year-old keen to move for personal reasons - he constantly complained that his family had not settled in England - the club agreed with him that if they received an acceptable bid he could leave.

After rejecting a 16 million bid from Barcelona last weekend an offer has now been made which is close to their 25m valuation. The player told Hodgson he did not want to play in Monday's defeat to Manchester City.