Hodgson hoping to keep Mascherano

LONDON - Argentina captain Javier Mascherano was absent from Liverpool's line-up at Manchester City on Monday but manager Roy Hodgson said he was still hoping to persuade him to stay at the Premier League club.

Hodgson told Sky Sports television that the midfielder, most recently linked to a transfer to Spanish champions Barcelona, had been left out because he did not think he was in the right frame of mind to play.

"It will get resolved as quickly as it can get resolved," Hodgson said. "I would like Mascherano to stay, that's my hope.

"We don't really want to sell him. Certainly we don't want to sell him for the type of fee that is being suggested at the moment and it will be up to the clubs to sort that out.

"I am hoping, maybe hoping against hope but still hoping, that Javier Mascherano will still play for us because he's such a good player and he will make us into a better team."

Liverpool crashed 3-0 at Eastlands, their worst defeat to City in the league in 73 years.

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