Napoli targeting Barca all-rounder

Former Liverpool midfielder Javier Mascherano could move to Napoli in the summer, according to Spanish paper Marca.

The Barcelona defender is being lined up by his former Reds manager Rafa Benitez, with both clubs already making contact over a summer transfer. Mascherano’s contract at the Camp Nou expires in 2016, but Barca are ready to off-load the Argentine this summer.

Benitez is a big fan of Mascherano, and converted the 29-year-old in to the all-rounder he is today. The Aregntine can play at centre-back and centre midfield, whilst Benitez also occasionally used him at right-back during his Anfield days.

A move to Napoli is of interest to the all-rounder, who wants to not only work with Benitez once more, but play in Europe’s top 3 leagues, after already competing in the Premier League and La Liga. And a move to Serie A would be even better by playing for Napoli, who hold a special connection for Argentine players after Maradona’s successful career there.

Barca are set to sign at least one new centre-back this summer, and Mascherano knows his playing time will be severely limited if he stays at the Camp Nou past this campaign. And with the Catalan club looking to create a defensive partnership with Pique, the Argentine knows now is the best time to depart Spain.