Barca wait to pounce for Liverpool's Mascherano

Last updated at 08:52 03 January 2008

Barcelona are among the Spanish clubs lining up to sign Javier Mascherano if Liverpool do not turn his loan deal into a permanent move.

More Premier League news club by club

Whatever is being said publicly about Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez by the club's American owners or chief executive Rick Parry, the Spaniard's future is still uncertain.

If Liverpool fail to stay in the top four, Tom Hicks and George Gillett will see their already-strained financial plans seriously damaged.

And that would see Benitez under even more pressure. He is not going to be allowed to spend big this month, with the future of Mascherano no nearer a conclusion, with his loan ending in the summer.

The Americans will not spend £17million now, and that could see Mascherano's agents touting the Argentinian around Europe, with the Catalan giants waiting to pounce.

Mascherano said: "With the time that has passed, it will now be more difficult for me to stay here because I need to do something about my future.

"I have done everything to stay but now the owners have to decide if they want to buy me or not."

Meanwhile Birmingham manager Alex McLeish wants to make a double raid on Rangers with Scotland full back Alan Hutton and forward Kris Boyd his intended targets.

Hutton is also believed to be interesting Manchester United and Tottenham.