Javier Mascherano is expected to stay at Barcelona after the club’s hierarchy stressed the Argentine’s importance at Camp Nou.
It had been suggested that Mascherano could leave Barca this summer for a reunion with former Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez at Napoli.
Benitez was a formative Coach in Mascherano’s career and the pair were said to be keen to work together again in Serie A.
But Mundo Deportivo reports that Barca President Josep Maria Bartomeu, sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta and Coach Luis Enrique have talked Mascherano into staying.
There’s even a suggestion that Mascherano could captain Barca at some point, such is his influence among the rest of the squad.
Bartomeu has publically described the former West Ham man as a key member of the team.
“Enrique, Zubizarreta and everyone see him as a key player in the locker room and on the field and he is very much appreciated,” the President said.
Mascherano could also be returned to his more natural midfield berth under Enrique after spending four years as a centre-back.
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