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Liverpool boss Benitez set for crunch Xabi, Mascherano talks this week

Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez plans talks with midfield pair Xabi Alonso and Javier Mascherano this week.

The News of the World says Benitez plans to tell the midfielders if they pledge their future to the club - even for just this season - he is confident they will be rewarded with the Premier League crown.

Mascherano and Alonso are coming under mounting pressure from Liverpool fans to state their intentions.

Real Madrid have already had a £25million bid for Alonso, 27, knocked back, while Argentinian Mascherano, 25, is keen to join Barcelona for family reasons.

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