Lescano leaves Liverpool for Madrid

Highly-rated Argentine Juan Lescano has been snapped up by Jose Mourinho’s Real Madrid after failing to secure a work permit to stay at Liverpool.

The 17-year-old striker, who was seen as one of the Anfield club’s finest Academy prospects, was forced to leave Liverpool after failing to play any first team football for the Reds.

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Lescano - dubbed the 'new Didier Drogba' by insiders at the Bernabeu - has signed a four-year deal and joins fellow Argentine and recent recruit Angel di Maria in the Spanish capital.

The teenager admitted that he cannot wait to join the Spanish giants but was eager to pay tribute to his former team-mates at Anfield.

"At Liverpool people like Javier Mascherano and Emilliano Insua helped me a lot, but after the legal problems this is a big opportunity for me," he said.

Meanwhile, Reds’ boss Roy Hodgson is playing down rumours that Mascherano is set for an swift exit from the Merseyside club.

The Argentine has not yet returned to Liverpool following the World Cup and Hodgson admits he has not spoken directly to the defensive midfielder since taking over at Anfield last month.

"He doesn’t need to make contact with me," said Hodgson.

"I’ve made contact with him telling him I’m looking forward to seeing him in training when he returns from his holiday but I did make the point in the voicemail that I didn’t expect him to contact me.

"I just wanted him to know that I had been in touch and that I was thinking of him."

Hodgson’s priority remains finding a new left-back following the release of Fabio Aurellio and Emiliano Insua’s transfer to Fiorentina.

"We are short and that is going to be one of the priorities," said Hodgson. "We need to find a replacement for Emiliano and Fabio.

"That is one job we will have to do."

By Jamie Bowman

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