ROY HODGSON has been given the green light to reinvest every penny Liverpool will receive from Barcelona for Javier Mascherano on new recruits.
The Liverpool boss is poised for a busy few days in the transfer market, as he looks to bring in a number of fresh faces before the window closes on Tuesday.
And he will be able to conduct his search knowing Liverpool will bank a fee of more than £20m for Mascherano, whose exit from Anfield is expected to be officially confirmed in the next 24 hours.
Hodgson has his eye on a number of targets and the first of a new wave to come through the door is expected to be Fulham left-back Paul Konchesky, a player who Liverpool’s manager knows well.
He is also trying to thrash out a deal to land PSV Eindhoven forward Ola Toivonen but, should that fail to come off, Hodgson has other targets to turn to and he is also keen to bring in another midfielder.
But what Hodgson has the opport-unity to do and what might actually happen are two different things, as he has gone on record recently and said he will not spend big just for the sake of it – if he doesn’t think players are up to scratch, he won’t sign them.
Mascherano, inevitably, will have to be replaced and the Argentine will leave Anfield with a blast from Hodgson ringing in his ears, after he was accused by the manager of acting selfishly to push through his switch to the Nou Camp.
“There are a lot of factors I don’t want to be drawn on too much, but it’s not easy to defend his actions because professionals are paid to play and when called upon to do so, they should,” said Hodgson.
“But it’s a complicated situation to be fair to him. I had the situation at Blackburn when someone was very agitated when I first went there. Graeme Le Saux was determined to go to Chelsea and that caused us problems.
“Then Tim Sherwood was wanted by Tottenham and that caused problems because he was determined to get back to London. So this situation can occur unfortunately and you have to live with it.
“That’s why we (managers) have to be forgiven for getting irritated when agents stir things even more.
“It’s bad enough when there’s a genuine offer that leaves a problem to resolve. I don’t think players mean it as a challenge to your authority or the club’s.
“But it’s a selfish situation where they want to do something and then expect the club and me, in my position as one of the leaders of the club, to bow down and accept they are going to get their way.
“Players must also understand when you sign contracts, you do so to play.”
Pepe Reina, meanwhile, believes Liverpool delivered the perfect riposte to their critics when coming from behind to beat Trabzonspor on Thursday night and the influential goalkeeper hopes it is a sign of things to come.
“It was good because we showed character in the second half,” said Reina. “We knew the crowd and the stadium would make it difficult but, by the way, they were a decent team.
“We knew we could have some problems coming out here.”