LEO MESSI has risked the wrath of Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez by openly inviting close pal Javier Mascherano to Barcelona.
SunSport broke the news that the Catalans had contacted Mascherano’s agent to try and lure him from Anfield for 20million.
The Kop idol’s agent confirmed our story and now Argentina star Messi is leading the campaign to get the midfield anchor man to the Nou Camp.
Messi said: “It will be beautiful if Barcelona signed Javier, as a player and as a friend.
“Not only to have him on the pitch but also off it as well. He’s a great player and would be a great signing.”
Benitez has been desperate to quash talk about Mascherano’s future after his agent admitted he had met Barca technical director Txiki Beguiristain.
Barca boss Pep Guardiola rates Mascherano highly and the star is rumoured to be pining for a move to a Spanish-speaking country.
Messi also spoke about Cristiano Ronaldo’s 80m world-record move from Manchester United to Real Madrid.
He hailed the arrivals of Ronaldo and 56m Kaka to Real. He said: “With them La Liga will be stronger. It will be a beautiful year.”