Barcelona set to bid for Benayoun

Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola will not be on Rafa Benitez's christmas card list this year having targeted a second Liverpool player in two weeks. Benitez was furious at Guardiola when the Barcelona boss declared his interest in Javier Mascherano, seemingly unsettling the Argentine midfielder.  Although Benitez has claimed that Mascherano is happy at Anfield, his agent Walter Tamer seemed less certain.  When asked if Mascherano would be interested in a move to the Nou Camp Tamer replied, "of course". Now, just days after that particular furore seems to have been resolved, reports in Israel suggest that Yossi Benayoun is the latest Liverpool player to be subject of an approach from the European champions. According to sources close to Benayoun, senior figures at Barcelona have contacted Liverpool and enquired about his availability and an asking price. Having enjoyed an impressive season, there is no doubt that interest in Benayoun will be high.  Halfway through a four-year-deal, it is likely Benitez will have to reward his excellent form with an improved contract to end any uncertainty over his future.  With Manchester City, Atletico Madrid and Villareal also interested Benayoun will be considering his options.  Speaking on Israeli radio last month, he commented, "This has been the best season of my career. I have played a lot of games and scored some important goals, and I am very happy with that. "At the moment, I am a Liverpool player, and unless something surprising happens, I will remain one. But after such a good season, I have had some offers from England and Spain. You have to give that some consideration, so there will probably be some discussions with Liverpool."