Italian side Napoli have pulled the plug on a deal for Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini, and have now set their sights on Liverpool's Lucas Leiva, according to Metro.
It was widely reported that the Belgium international would join the Serie A side on a season-long loan, with Dries Mertens potentially going in the opposite direction. However, it has now been suggested that Rafael Benitez has told the club to pull the plug on the potential deal as he doesn't want them paying for a loan-move.
It's said that United were asking for a £4million loan-fee from Napoli, which Benitez wasn't interested in paying as he believes that could be used to strengthen the squad on a more permanent basis.
The centre-midfielder joined United last summer for a staggering £27million, reuniting himself with manager David Moyes from Everton, but he failed to net a single goal for the club during his debut season, and it's believed that new manager Van Gaal doesn't have him in mind for his plans at the club.
The Dutchman is set to mix things up at Old Trafford and may sell up to five first-team players, with Fellaini being one of them.
Earlier this week, it was all-but wrapped up that Fellaini would move to Italy in order to seal a loan-move to Naples, and it was confirmed by the club president Aurelio de Laurentiis, who revealed his interest in the 26-year-old.
Benitez put off
However, the £4million loan fee has quickly put Benitez off the deal, and the former-Liverpool manager is now looking at his previous club as he looks set to move for Brazilian, Lucas Leiva.
The Reds midfielder has been plagued with injury over the past few seasons, and with Brendan Rodgers spending heavily this summer, signing seven players so far, Lucas could be on his way out of Anfield and could be lured to Italy in order to work with Benitez.
Lucas is currently battling for places alongside Steven Gerrard and Jordan Henderson, but with Adam Lallana arriving from Southampton, the competition for starting places is hotting up, and the defensive midfielder may not be a consistent starter this season.
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