Inter Milan boss Rafa Benitez is quietly confident of landing Liverpool midfielder Javier Mascherano.

The Telegraph says Benítez will be handed a transfer fund of around £80 million this summer to begin an overhaul of a squad as high on age as it is on quality, and Mascherano is likely to be his first target.

Benítez signed Mascherano for Liverpool for £18.6 million in 2008 after an initial loan spell. The Argentine has made no secret of his desire to work with Benítez again - "his football is my football" - and his failure to sign a new, £100,000-a-week contract at Anfield is an indication that he does not intend to stay put.

Liverpool's finances are such that a £30 million bid for Mascherano may be too tempting to turn down, though it is thought there will be no formal offer until after the World Cup.