Premier League - Hodgson stands firm over Masch
Reuters - Tue, 24 Aug 08:22:00 2010
The Argentina captain was omitted from the squad for the 3-0 Premier League defeat at Eastlands after becoming distracted by a bid, believed to be £12 million, from Barcelona.
Hodgson rejected suggestions the 26-year-old had refused to play, instead insisting he chose to drop the combative midfielder for the sake of the team.
"Javier Mascherano is not in the right frame of mind to play the game because his head has obviously been turned by the offer from Barcelona," said the Reds manager.
"This matter has developed over the last couple of days. Unfortunately the fee the club thinks is the correct fee and the fee we are being offered are very far apart. Unless that can be resolved he might be unhappy for a long time to come.
"But I don't really want to get involved in it. The discussions between Barcelona and the club are being held at high club level and as a result I don't want to start saying things which may or may not be true. I have no wish to create headlines over the Mascherano situation."
Man City 3 Liverpool 0