Napoli manager Rafael Benitez is preparing a move for Liverpool target Javier Mascherano, according to reports from Italy cited by talkSPORT.
29-year-old Mascherano joined current club Barcelona from Liverpool back in August 2010 after establishing himself as a pivotal figure at Anfield in a successful three-year stint that followed a move from Premier League rivals West Ham.
Despite featuring prominently with the Catalan giants, however, Macherano's future has been the subject of intense speculation of late. Indeed during a particularly frantic summer transfer window, the Argentine international was heavily linked with a move back to the Reds, who are now under the management of the enthusiastic Brendan Rodgers.
If Liverpool do still have designs on securing a return for their former star, however, it appears that they will have to move quickly with reports suggesting that Benitez - the man who originally brought Mascherano to Merseyside - and current employers Napoli are preparing to make an official approach for the former River Plate ace ahead of the January window.
Napoli, who are in their first season under former Liverpool and Chelsea boss Benitez, have enjoyed a promising start to the 2013/14 campaign and currently sit second in Serie A with 19 points and also look a decent bet to advance to the knockout stages of the Champions League following Tuesday's win over Ligue 1 outfit Marseille.