JAVIER MASCHERANO finally completed his £18m move from Liverpool to Barcelona last night after passing an arduous five-hour medical at Camp Nou.
The Argentine international, 26, put pen-to-paper on a four-year deal with a mammoth buy-out clause of €90m after finally getting the thumbs up from club medics.
But while Mascherano settles in Spain, Reds boss Roy Hodgson has warned off interest for Lucas Leiva by slapping a £20m price tag on the Brazilian midfielder’s head.
Lucas’s first-team place is under threat following the £11.5m arrival of Raul Meireles with Stoke weighing up a shock move. But Hodgson said: “If someone came in and offered us £20m for him and he wants to go we would consider it but it is a bit late in the day, that’s for sure.”
Ambitious Stoke are also hoping to complete the signing of ex-Chelsea and Tottenham striker Eidur Gudjohnsen, 31, on a season-long loan from Monaco today.
Chairman Peter Coates said: “We have made an inquiry but whether it happens or not, or how far we will get, we just don’t know yet.”
The Potters are also set to land Portsmouth’s Marc Wilson with Liam Lawrence and Dave Kitson moving in the opposite direction. West Brom last night signed Paul Scharner from Wigan on a two-year deal.