Rafa Benitez is keen on attaining the services of Javier Mascherano, according to his agent. Napoli also want to secure the services of Liverpool’s Pepe Reina on a permanent basis.
Napoli boss Rafael Benitez wants to rope in Barcelona player Javier Mascherano, someone he has already managed during the duo’s time at Premier League side Liverpool. Benitez signed the Argentinian from West Ham in 2007 when he managed the Reds.
Mascherano does not wish to remain at the Catalan club next season and has been linked with a few sides including former club Liverpool and more seriously with Napoli.
The Argentine captain’s agent revealed to Napoli-based Radio CRC that the player did not wish to remain at Camp Nou playing the defender role he is being asked to. He also said that Rafa Benitez has made the Argentine a priority signing for the summer.
“Benitez would like Mascherano and he’s evaluating different options to try signing him”, said Bernardo Bovarone, the player’s agent
“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. Mascherano feels he is a midfielder and wishes to play in that role.”
Bovarone also claimed that the 29-year-old maintains a good relationship with his former boss.
“They talk frequently. There is interest and Benitez is not giving up.”
Mascherano would only want to move from the La Liga giants if he is guaranteed the midfielder role and regular game time.
Meanwhile, Benitez is also looking to secure the permanent signing of goalkeeper Pepe Reina from Liverpool. The shot-stopper spent the season on loan from the Premier League side and has already stated his desire to leave the Merseyside club, where he does not see a future. Simon Mignolet was acquired from Sunderland last summer and has been Rodgers’s number 1 choice for the goalkeeper spot.
Napoli sports director Riccardo Bigon told +N tv that he wants to keep Reina at the Serie A club and that Napoli will hold talks with Liverpool at the end of the season to secure his permanent signature
“Reina is a very important player both on the field and off.
“At the end of the season we will talk with him and Liverpool, we are interested to hold him here. He has been fine in Naples, he has a very close relationship with the coach (Rafa Benitez) and also his family has settled very well.”
Reina himself stated that he would return to the Anfield club to assess his future next season.
“I do not know yet”, he told Sky Italia.
“I’ll definitely go back to Liverpool.I have two years left on my contract and we will discuss what to do with the Reds.”