Report: Barcelona want Mascherano stay, but he wants midfield role

Javier Mascherano

As Napoli and Liverpool reportedly lurk, Barcelona's new boss Luis Enrique is said to want Javier Mascherano to stay.

The Italian press seem to alternate between linking Barcelona man Javier Macherano with Napoli and Liverpool, but much seems to depend on which position he is allowed to play.

Argentine international Mascherano made his name as a pugnacious defensive midfielder but at Barcelona he has been transformed into a centre-back.

However, it appears that the transition isn't one Mascherano made happily and the latest reports on his future state that he is determined to find a club that will treat him as a midfielder.

The arrival of a new coach Luis Enrique at Barcelona increased the chances that Mascherano would stay put, but according to Tuttosport, the Spaniard also wants to play Mascherano in defence.

The paper reports that Mascherano is ready to quit Barcelona and that Rafa Benitez at Napoli is happy to give the 29-year-old all the assurances he needs that he would be used in midfield.

It is suggested that Benitez is desperate to be reunited with Mascherano and has been pressing for the chance to sign him for months.

But the other option, which the player may prefer, is a return to Liverpool.

Reports suggest that Mascherano enjoyed living in the city and prefers the idea of his family living there to Naples, which often receives bad press.

However, the missing component appears to be any forward momentum being created by manager Brendan Rodgers and his view on whether Mascherano would fit in at Anfield these days is unclear.

Napoli seem to be in a hurry to move for Mascherano and reports suggest they have already negotiated a fee with Barcelona but can't convince the player, while Liverpool are yet to make a move but may have an easier time agreeing personal terms.

If Mascherano's main concern is playing position, he may agree to join Napoli shortly if Liverpool aren't willing to make an approach and things are further complicated by reports that Roma are also lingering.

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