De Laurentiis: Napoli working on Mascherano deal

It was Rafael Benitez who signed the Argentine for Liverpool and it looks like the pair could team up again as the Italian club are preparing to make a move for him

Napoli is "working on" a deal that would bring Barcelona midfielder Javier Mascherano to the club, president Aurelie De Laurentiis has revealed.

Mascherano, who has been used regularly in defense at Barcelona since joining from Liverpool in 2010, has been the reported subject of interest from several overseas clubs recently.

And Napoli confirmed that it is in the race to sign the Argentina international, who turns 30 next month, with De Laurentiis admitting that manager Rafael Benitez liked the player.

"Benitez knows Mascherano well. We are working on it but it's a difficult negotiation," the president is quoted as saying in Gazzetta dello Sport. "In any case, the player will turn 32 in two years' time."

De Laurentiis added that the Italian side would not be selling any players as it prepares for another Champions League campaign.

The Naples-based team will also be looking to improve on its third-placed finish in the Serie A and the president said Benitez is an integral part of the club's future.

"Right now no one is leaving," he added. "We have a strong roster and we don't have that many positions to fill.

"We changed 12 players this year and the team has ended the campaign on a high, achieving a club record 104 goals.

"This means that we already have an important foundation. We have planned with Benitez [for] the future and made a list of possible signings."