Report: Mascherano turns down Napoli, he wants Liverpool

Javier Mascherano Argentina

The Spanish press are convinced that Napoli and Barcelona agreed a deal for Javier Mascherano only for the player to refuse the move.

Liverpool could get a chance to sign Javier Mascherano as reports suggest that the Argentine midfielder won't join Napoli because he wants to return to Anfield.

Rafa Benitez is looking to strengthen Napoli's ranks after an impressive season that saw him guide the Partenopei to third place in Serie A and the Coppa Italia.

The Spanish tactician had reportedly hoped to link up with the versatile star he managed at Liverpool, who has turned from a pugnacious defensive midfielder to a centre-back at Barcelona.

Spanish newspaper Sport reports that while Napoli were successful in agreeing a deal with Barcelona where he has a contract until 2016, Mascherano turned down the chance to move to Naples.

Mascherano is expected to leave Barcelona and stated that many of the players could be playing their final games for the club, but it may be that he wants to return to Liverpool.

Although Mascherano left Liverpool acrimoniously in 2010 when it was reported that he refused to play against Manchester City - a claim he denies - and he has since hit out at 'broken promises', he has always stressed his respect for the club and the fans.

Sport reports that Mascherano would happily return to Liverpool as he likes the city, unlike Naples, which he apparently feels isn't a good place for his family to live.

It is believed that Napoli and Barcelona agreed a fee of close to £12m and it remains to be seen whether Liverpool would want to pay that for Mascherano, but it appears that the player is ready to bury the hatchet and return.

Register for LIVERPOOL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch