Barcelona defender Javier Mascherano reveals Rafa Benitez talks

Napoli manager Rafael Benitez

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Barcelona defender Javier Mascherano has revealed he spoke with Rafa Benitez over the summer about the possibility of joining him at Napoli.

Mascherano worked under Benitez during his three-and-a-half years at Liverpool and won a Champions League runner-up medal in his first season.

The 30-year-old midfielder, who now plays more often as a centre-back, has been heavily linked with a move to Napoli to restore his relationship with the Spaniard.

The Serie A outfit were reportedly interested in signing the Argentine in the summer after his starring role at the World Cup, with Roma and Juventus also credited with interest.

A move never transpired and Mascerhano signed a new contract with Barcelona in August to extend his stay at the club until 2018, with an option of a further year.

However he has revealed it could have been different had Napoli made a formal offer to Barcelona.

“I have a great relationship with Rafa,” Mascherano told Onda Cero. “We often talk, and this summer I spoke to him about the possibility of joining him at Napoli.

“Benitez and Guardiola are the coaches to whom I owe my entire career, but no Italian team ever made a formal offer.”

Barcelona host Sevilla at Camp Nou on Saturday and are 1.21 to claim all three points, while the visitors are 11.90 and a draw is 6.27.

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