Juve near to Mascherano deal
Wednesday 27 December, 2006

Reports in Italy suggest Juventus are close to signing West Ham midfielder Javier Mascherano in the next few weeks.

The Argentine signed a four-year deal with the London club during the summer, but has struggled to adapt to his new life and has been frequently linked with the demoted giants in the past few months, after allegedly asking the Hammers to let him leave.

Bianconeri officials are expected in London in the next 48 hours to finalise the details with the company who owns the player and Mascherano could arrive in Italy shortly on a £5.7m deal.

‘The Little General’, who had been urged to join the Juve in the January transfer window by Argentina boss Alfio Basile, is liked by Coach Didier Deschamps, who had already eyed him during the summer.

The 22-year-old Argentine, who impressed for his national side during the 2006 World Cup, would arrive with the added bonus of an Italian passport and is considered by the Bianconeri a key player as the Old Lady plans to strengthen the side ahead of their potential return to Serie A at the end of the season.

The former Corinthians man started his career in his homeland with River Plate, before moving to the Brazilian side in 2005, where he won the League title along with his Argentine teammate Carlos Tevez.

Mascherano is also a reported target for Inter and Fiorentina, who are both willing to offer up to £2m to convince the player to leave Upton Park.

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Pictures: Richiardi (Milan)
& Getty Images (UK)

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