Inter Milan are willing to offer Esteban Cambiasso in part-exchange for Liverpool midfielder Javier Mascherano. The Sunday Mirror says Inter are now looking to smooth the way with a player-plus-cash deal that will see Cambiasso move to Anfield. Liverpool are unwilling to countenance any dealings until Roy Hodgson is confirmed as manager.

But while Cambiasso is nearing his 30th birthday, he is still regarded as one of the best defensive midfielders in the world.

It was a huge shock when Diego Maradona left Cambiasso out of Argentina's World Cup squad after a season which saw him play a starring role in Inter's Champions League, Serie A and Italian Cup Treble.

Inter president Massimo Moratti has threatened to give up unless Liverpool slash their price. But Benitez feels a deal can be struck if Hodgson accepts Cambiasso as a makeweight.