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Barca boss quiet about Mascherano

Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola was unwilling to discuss prospective signing Javier Mascherano today but says he will do so if and when the Liverpool midfielder arrives at the Nou Camp.

Mascherano was left out of the Reds squad for their 3-0 defeat at Manchester City on Monday night and appears to be on the verge of a move to Barca.

And Guardiola admitted the Catalans are interested.

"I will speak about him when he's here -- if he comes," the Barca coach said.

Guardiola, however, refused to reveal whether a deal is close.

"You'll have to ask (sporting director Andoni) Zubizarreta," he said.


But he did admit he is keen to sign a defensive midfielder before the transfer window closes, and says the signing of such a player would complete the team for the new season.

"If a defensive midfielder arrives the needs of the team will be resolved. If one arrives I will be satisfied," he said.

One player set to depart in the next few days is striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, with AC Milan reported to be close to agreeing a deal for the former Inter Milan forward.

The deal to bring Ibrahimovic to the Nou Camp last summer saw Samuel Eto'o go the other way and cost the Spanish side around €66m in total.

Barca are now set to take a big loss on the player who failed to shine in his first season at the Nou Camp, but Guardiola says he has no regrets about the switch.

"I don't regret the exchange with Samuel Eto'o. You can't go back on the decisions you make," he said.

Meanwhile, former Arsenal midfielder Alexander Hleb is set to leave either permanently or on loan this season, along with youth product Victor Sanchez and Uruguay defender Martin Caceres.

"We'll have to find a way out for Hleb, Caceres and Victor Sanchez because if they stay, they will not take part very much," Guardiola said.

Barcelona face Milan in the Gamper trophy tonight, with Ronaldinho set to return to the club where he played the best football of his career.

"Ronaldinho's smile changed Barca," Guardiola said.

"Few teams can dignify our trophy like Milan."