Liverpool are set to lose Javier Mascherano to Italy.

The Sun says the Argentine, who joined on a controversial loan move from West Ham a year ago, is wanted by AC Milan and Juventus. Kop boss Rafa Benitez is desperate to clinch a long-term deal but must pay £17million to Masch's owners Media Sports Investments.

Yet Liverpool's American owners have so far failed to give the thumbs up, even though the fee could be paid in instalments, and only around a quarter needs to be paid now.

Walter Tamer, Mascherano's agent, said: "Liverpool have not made any offer at all to buy Javier and it is likely that he will go to Italy next season."