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Missing Mascherano 'must message his manager'

Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson has appealed to midfielder Javier Mascherano to get in touch to discuss his future.

Hodgson cast further uncertainty over the Argentina captain's Anfield career yesterday when he conceded he had been unable to contact him since he took charge more than a fortnight ago.

Mascherano (26) has been linked with a move to European champions Inter Milan this summer and his agent has described the potential of such a move as a "dream".

Hodgson, speaking at his team's pre-season training camp in Switzerland, said: "I have tried to contact Javier. I have left him voice messages and sent him texts but had no reply.

"To be fair to him, that's not unusual because he's had a tough World Cup and I believe he's gone back to Argentina.

"It's not always easy to get in touch with people. I have tried to reach him to make clear I am happy to talk with him at his convenience."

Mascherano is contracted to Liverpool until 2012 and any deal could cost a club such as Inter as much as £30m.

Hodgson has at least managed to meet striker Fernando Torres following his return from the World Cup.

Torres has been touted as a potential target for the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City and Barcelona for fees upwards of £50m.

Hodgson has made clear his determination to keep the 26-year-old, who is hoping to shake off a groin injury in time for the new season.

"As far as we are concerned he is a Liverpool player and we want him to remain a Liverpool player," Hodgson said.

"He is not for sale and we don't welcome any offers for him. We want to keep him."

Hodgson was similarly forthright when discussing captain Steven Gerrard, although speculation the 30-year-old might leave has cooled since this summer's change of manager.

"What we haven't had is a club wanting to buy Steven Gerrard," Hodgson said. "Steven Gerrard is not for sale -- I made that clear to him."

Liverpool will begin their Europa League qualifying campaign against Rabotnicki of Macedonia or Armenian side FC Mika this month.

The first leg of the third qualifying-round tie will take place at Anfield on July 29 with the return a week later.

Their opponents will be confirmed next week after the conclusion of the second qualifying round. Rabotnicki hold a 1-0 lead after their first leg against Mika.


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