Aurelio De Laurentiis has explained the lack of value to Javier Mascherano and is not shy in saying he wants Napoli to fight for the title.
The Partenopei have been linked this summer with a move for the Barcelona midfielder, only for reports to indicate that a transfer is increasingly unlikely.
Facing supporters at an event from the club’s training base for pre-season in Dimaro, the President reflected on the issue and where he sees value.
“If you ask the fans which player they would like, we would be able to put out 250 different teams,” began De Laurentiis on Tuesday night.
“When you ask me about Mascherano, you must remember that you have to see if he wants to come, if they will sell him, how much he earns, how much we will pay for only three-and-a-half years, since he is at a certain age.
“I prefer to play with young people, so as to create a team able to stay at the top for many years.”
Napoli have been linked with a number of other midfielders in the market.
“Napoli’s transfer market is always open - with Bigon and Benitez we always talk about it, every minute. It is not easy to find the right players for many reasons.
“Our midfielders with Switzerland have done very well. The problem is that Rafa plays with forward momentum, he plays attacking football.
“We need, therefore, players with the right features. We have so many players, we also have to lighten up the group.
“Last year we changed so much, we went to a new formation that we did not know precisely, namely the 4-2-3-1, which is used by many clubs in Europe.
“To me, even Juventus this year with a new Coach will have some problems.
“Why do I think Antonio Conte left? Maybe he realised that it would be very difficult to win a fourth time, and especially in Europe.”
De Laurentiis was asked about hopes to enter into the title race this season.
“I want to win it, I will fight for it. We are mature enough to achieve this. Last year we were third and we went out of the Champions League with great honour.
“If we had not had so many injuries then who knows how it would have gone. This year we will be in contention.
“Mazzarri always told me: ‘President, deny everything, because otherwise the fans will not settle’.
“But I do not like telling lies, that is why this year I say that we will try to win it.”
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