Napoli 'working on deal' for £13m bargain perfect for Arsenal & Chelsea

Premier League duo set to miss out on one of the top players available in the summer market, as Barcelona and Napoli are seemingly in talks…

Coppa Italia kings Napoli, who finished a commendable third in the Serie A table in what was Rafael Benitez's debut season with the Partenopei, could score one of the bargain acquisitions of the summer transfer market as the Spanish manager is eager to reunite with his former enforcer at Liverpool, Javier Mascherano, now surplus to requirements at Barcelona.

Valued by at £13.2m, Mascherano is still in his prime years as a footballer (aged just 29) and is contracted at the Camp Nou club for another two years, however, according to the latest transfer news coming out of Italy, the Catalans are ready to do business with Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis.

He told Gazetta dello Sport: "Benitez knows Mascherano well and esteems him. We are working on it but it's a difficult negotiation."

According to Sky Sports, a hat-trick of Premier League clubs are also interested - Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal - yet Chelsea, too, could well benefit from adding Mascherano to their ranks, particularly after the ratification of David Luiz's £40m sale to Paris Saint Germain.

For Arsenal and Chelsea chiefly, Javier would be perfect. Not only would he represent a true bargain - if indeed he can be captured that cheaply - but his versatility is an asset. At Liverpool, he excelled as a defensive minded midfielder, whilst he has also featured at centre back for Barcelona.

Barca, though, may be loathe to do business with their old enemy Jose Mourinho, but the Gunners do have a good working relationship with the La Liga club having sold them Thierry Henry, Marc Overmars, Emmanuel Petit, Giovanni van Bronckhorst and, of course, Cesc Fabregas.

Register for CHELSEA team updates

Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch