Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez has ruled out selling Javier Mascherano after the Argentina international's agent was quoted as saying the midfielder was keen to join Barcelona.
It has been reported than Mascherano's agent, Walter Tamer, has held talks with Barca technical director Txiki Beguiristain, and was quoted in The Sun saying: ''It would make Javier very proud that a club like Barcelona pay him attention after such an incredible year. I believe a transfer would be feasible.''
However, Benitez has dismissed the idea and insisted Mascherano is happy at Anfield and not for sale.
''Mascherano has no price,'' the Spaniard told the club's website. ''Barcelona could not afford to match his value to Liverpool Football Club. We do not want to sell and Javier is very happy here.
''I have spoken to Javier two or three times this summer - the last time was only last week - and he was very happy, very positive. He gave me the private number of his agent, Walter Tamer, and again the conversation was very positive and was all about football.
''Walter told me that two clubs with big, big names were asking after Mascherano - and I told him to forget it, that Javier was happy in Liverpool and he was not for sale.
''So I was surprised to see the agent's comments today. He has a long contract and any club can forget about bidding for him. They can offer £40m or even £50m, we don't want to sell.''
Benitez has already admitted that this summer is unlikely to see any high profile acquisitions as the club's owners do not have the finance necessary to fund serious transfer spending.
The Liverpool boss had wanted to augment his squad with players like Gareth Barry, David Villa and Carlos Tevez, but such are the limitations on Benitez that more realistic targets are thought to be Middlesbrough forward Tuncay or Portsmouth defender Sylvain Distin.
Last week it was revealed that Kop Football Holdings, the company though which co-owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett control the club, suffered a loss of £42.6m last year and must refinance £350m of debt before July 24.
However, Benitez remains upbeat and insists he knew that the summer would be a relatively quiet time when he signed his new five-year contract in March.