Football - Liverpool FC: BARCELONA have today been alerted to Javier Mascherano giving the strongest indication yet his future lies away from Liverpool.
The Argentina captain admits life in the city has left him longing to be back amongst his countrymen and that his family find being cut off difficult.
Mascherano has also revealed he was keen to leave Anfield for Catalan giants Barca in the summer but with manager Rafael Benitez refusing to sell him, the situation impacted on his early season form.
Now trying to focus on World Cup preparations with his national side, Mascherano has candidly opened up about his desire to leave the Premier League behind for life in La Liga with the Spaniards believed to be huge admirers.
Mascherano said: “The situation with Barcelona really affected me.
“It was a shame it didn’t happen as it was the city I wanted to live in.
“There were many discussions and problems during that month and a half. They were difficult times for me. One day I was off to Barcelona, the next I wasn’t.
“And Liverpool said I was non-transferable.
“Psychologically, it affected me as I couldn’t think in Liverpool and I was focused on other stuff and not on my work, my training and playing.
“Also we were having problems with Argentina as our qualification to the World Cup was in danger. There was a lot of complicated stuff at that time.
“I don’t do much stuff in my free time, that’s the truth.
“I could go to London with my wife to do some shopping but I have already been to London 1,000 times and if I want to go to another city I would have to take a plane.
“What kills me about living in Liverpool is that there are only two Argentinians here with me, Emiliano Insua and Maxi Rodriguez.
“Insua and I live in a private neighbourhood. He lives in one tower and I live in the other. There are 15 metres between us and we used to look at each other through the window.
“Sometimes Zabaleta comes from Manchester but there is no way Carlos Tevez comes here. If I want to see him, I have to go to his place and knock on his door.
“He doesn’t like to leave his home. So during the winter, during those four or five months, I have to stay at home all day with my family.
“I have no problem living in Liverpool, but I think my wife and daughters deserve to enjoy every day to the full and live their lives – but they have to be at home all day.
“My wife doesn’t speak a word of English, so she depends 100% on me. I live here with them. That’s my world, that’s my life.”
Meanwhile, Aston Villa chairman Randy Lerner has warned off any potential advances from Liverpool for manager Martin O’Neill should Rafael Benitez depart.
Lerner said: “As far as I’m concerned, Liverpool are not taking Martin O’Neill away from Aston Villa.”