Liverpool midfielder Javier Mascherano is not returning Roy Hodgson's calls, thwarting the new manager's attempts to persuade him to stay at Anfield.
Since taking over, Hodgson has spoken to striker Fernando Torres and captain Steven Gerrard and insisted Friday that neither is for sale. But Mascherano is proving elusive.
The Argentina captain indicated this week that he would like to be reunited with former Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez at Inter Milan.
"I have tried to contact Javier," Hodgson said Friday. "I have left him voice messages and sent him texts but had no reply. To be fair to him, that's not unusual because he's had a tough World Cup and I believe he's gone back to Argentina.
"It's not always easy to get in touch with people. I have tried to reach him to make clear I am happy to talk with him at his convenience."
Like Mascherano, both Torres and Gerrard continue to be linked with moves away from Liverpool in the wake of last season's seventh-place finish and while the club searches for a new owner to solve its financial problems.
"We are in a situation where we hear our players are being courted by other teams but it is all just rumors," Hodgson said. "What we haven't had is a club wanting to buy Steven Gerrard. Steven Gerrard is not for sale _ I made that clear to him."
The message is the same regarding Torres.
"He is not for sale and we don't welcome any offers for him," Hodgson said. "We want to keep him."
Torres is recovering from an adductor muscle injury he sustained in the World Cup final on Sunday as Spain beat the Netherlands. Liverpool expects him to be fit in three to four weeks.