Liverpool, November 15: A player who Liverpool have failed to replace in almost eight years since his departure is Argentina international Javier Mascherano and recent reports in Spain suggest that they could land their former player back from Barcelona in January.
Mascherano's contract at Barcelona is less than two years to run and he is understood to be considering an early exit and Liverpool is his favoured destination as per reports.
Reports surfaced last week suggested that the Reds were interested in handing Mascherano the chance to return to Anfield, having lost his place in the Barcelona starting lineup.
The 33-year-old's current deal at Camp Nou does not expire until 2019, but Barca are understood to be willing to allow him to leave on a free transfer in order to ease their wage bill.
The Argentine reportedly rejected a move to Liverpool, but Jurgen Klopp's side have now been made favourites to sign him with a deal seemingly back on the table.
The Merseyside outfit could face competition from the likes of Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus, though, while Mascherano has also been linked with a return to River Plate, where he began his career.
Mascherano made 139 appearances for Liverpool across all competitions from 2007 to 2010 before joining Barcelona.
However, a contradictory report has emerged in Spain that Mascherano considers a move back to his native Argentina to link up with his boyhood club River Plate.
"I believe I need to give a chapter of my career to River Plate," he said. "My problem is this is not guaranteed and I could be a prisoner of my own words, if the move does not happen I may be accused of lying.
"But the truth is that this is what I have thought about, but I have a good relationship with the club’s president Rodolfo D’Onofrio and we speak regularly."
Mascherano admits that the moves he makes now is not singularly his own decision, but rather that of his family as he prioritises his children's situation.
"My future has nothing to do with money, I used to make my own decisions but now they’re done by my family, I cannot forget my kids and their situation."