Napoli tiring of waiting on Mascherano, line up Plan B

Javier Mascherano Argentina

Reports in Italy suggest that Napoli are close to giving up on signing Barcelona man Javier Mascherano and choosing a new target.

Napoli boss Rafa Benitez is reportedly desperate to link up with Javier Mascherano again, but it seems that the Serie A side are ready to look to alternative targets.

There has been intense speculation over Mascherano's future since he admitted publicly that many Barcelona players would be leaving in the summer.

It has been widely reported that the Argentine star wants to return to a midfield role having been moulded into a central defender at the Camp Nou and that he could quit the club over it.

But new boss Luis Enrique is determined to keep Mascherano and sees him as captain material for his team.

According to Il Mattino, Mascherano has asked for some time to make up his mind over his future and will meet with Luis Enrique to discuss plans.

The paper believes that Napoli are starting to run out of patience having made their intentions very clear and they could move on to other targets without waiting on Mascherano.

Bayern Munich man Javi Martinez and Mario Suarez of Atletico Madrid are said to be on Napoli's wish list with Suarez possibly the more likely option given his falling out with boss Diego Simeone, which may make him available at a reduced price.

There have been reports that Mascherano is keen to return to Liverpool - a move which would be warmly received by many fans - but as yet there has been no concrete approach. 

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