Mascherano 'flattered' by transfer talk

Javier Mascherano admits he is flattered by the reported interest in him from Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid.

Both Barca and Madrid have been strongly linked to the Argentina captain as they look to strengthen their squads this summer, and the Liverpool man has taken great pride from that.

"It's really flattering. For me it means great recognition because we are talking about big clubs," said Mascherano, who still has three years left on his contract at Anfield.

"I feel comfortable at Liverpool, but it's always good to know that teams like Barca and Madrid are interested in you. I feel very grateful."

Mascherano also spoke highly of Liverpool coach Rafael Benitez, and believes it is great for the Reds that the Spaniard recently committed himself to the club, penning a new contract that runs until 2014.

"(He is) excellent. He's a perfectionist, working down to the smallest detail that you can imagine. Fortunately he has renewed his contract, meaning his ties to the club continue and this will give more calm to everybody," Mascherano said in an interview with Spanish magazine Don Balon.

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