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Liverpool midfielder Mascherano backs Benitez for Inter Milan job

Liverpool midfielder Javier Mascherano says Rafa Benitez would be the ideal man to succeed Jose Mourinho at Inter Milan.

Reports suggest Inter president Massimo Moratti is set to meet Benitez in Sardinia and a deal could be sealed in the next 48 hours.

It will be daunting for someone to step into Mourinho's shoes after the former Chelsea manager steered the Nerazzurri to the Champions League crown before leaving to Real Madrid, but Mascherano believes his former boss has the perfect credentials.

"Only Benitez could take the place of a coach like Mourinho," said the Argentina international. "He is a great coach. He has charisma, personality, a winning mentality.

"Moreover, he will find himself brilliantly in Italy because of the tactical game. Rafa studies everything on the table and directs the team from the bench like a orchestra conductor.

"Inter have made a good choice. After Mourinho, he is the only man capable of continuing Inter's winning run."

Mascherano has spent the past three years at Anfield but contract negotiations have currently been put on hold.

The 25-year-old was heavily linked with a move to Barcelona last summer and admits he could soon leave Liverpool.

"Would I follow Benitez? I don't know," he said with a shrug. "At the moment I really know little about my future.

"But of course with Benitez at Liverpool I experienced three incredible years. His football is my football."

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