Higuain asks not to play: Is Liverpool target tired or unsettled?

Napoli seem to be a side in crisis and as reports continue to link striker Gonzalo Higuain with Liverpool the Argentine striker asked not to play.

The pressure is rising on Rafa Benitez at Napoli after the Partenopei drew 3-3 with Palermo and were booed off by their home fans.

Benitez may have made a rod for his own back last season by leading Napoli to third place in Serie A and the Coppa Italia.

Expectations were high ahead of this season, but Napoli have suffered defeats against Chievo and Udinese and been eliminated from the Champions League.

With the atmosphere at the club becoming toxic, reports in the Daily Star suggest that Liverpool are still keeping an eye on Higuain, who has been a target in the past.

It is a point of debate whether Liverpool really need Higuain after signing Mario Balotelli, but they still have cash to spend after the Luis Suarez windfall.

The Spanish star asked not to start the game against Palermo, but Benitez insists it was for fear of picking up an injury.

"Higuain asked not to play that's why he was on the bench," the ex-Liverpool boss said after the game.

"He told me that he was tired after playing three games in a row and playing a fourth could have caused physical problems."

While Higuain may well have been scared of jeopardising his season by over stretching himself, some sources have suggested that his decision was due to a rift at the club.

Higuain did eventually enter as a second-half substitute with 20 minutes remaining but he was unable to effect the scoreline.

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