Reports from Italy have suggested that Napoli manager Rafa Benitez has called Barcelona midfielder Javier Mascherano urging him to join Napoli in the summer. Benitez had earlier brought the Argentine to Anfield during his successful tenure at Anfield and is desperate to reunite with him at the Partenopei.
The 29 year old has featured in 37 appearances for the Camp Nou outfit this season but has played the majority of games out of position, in central defense. Barcelona president Josep María Bartomeu has reportedly said that a mass exodus is set to follow after Tata Martino’s departure from the club.
There were reports since last summer that Benitez wants Mascherano at Stadion Sao Paolo but any substantial bids failed to materialize. The Spanish tactician though will step up his efforts to finally snap up the Argentine in the coming summer transfer market. Other reports had also linked Mascherano to make a comeback at Anfield.
David Amoyal, Serie A pundit and senior reporter in the reliable Gianluca Di Marzio staff also confirmed Napoli’s interests in the Argentine.
@tc917 I think it’s possible, as you mention Rafa is very close to him and Napoli could really use him as both a CB and CDM
— David Amoyal (@DavidAmoyal) May 21, 2014
Mascherano’s agent Bernardo Brovarone also didn’t deny the speculations related to his client. He was quoted by Radio CRC that “Benitez would like Mascherano and he’s evaluating different options to try signing him. Why does he want to leave Barcelona? The club told him he won’t play in the middle of the park, so when choosing his next destination, that will be a fundamental thing.”
However, Barcelona’s new manager Luis Enrique wants Mascherano to lead the the club next season.
Luis Enrique: “Mascherano is an example of someone with character to be captain. Good & important players will stay.”
— Dermot Corrigan (@dermotmcorrigan) May 21, 2014