Aurelio De Laurentiis has made clear that he has to see value in any deal to sign Javier Mascherano for Napoli.
The Vesuviani are suggested as first in line to try and pick up the 29-year-old from Barcelona, should he resolve to leave the Camp Nou this summer.
It is believed that Rafa Benitez is pushing for a bid for the Argentina international, who he worked with at Liverpool, and despite the potential cost such a deal may be set at.
However, his President has made clear today that value has to be found in any transfer.
“I am not against the signing of Mascherano, but if the operation was to cost me €40m for three years, then I say no,” De Laurentiis has told reporters at a publicity event today in Rome.
“Then, we have to understand what will happen at Barcelona. Because if he perhaps understands that he will not play with continuity there, then the best cards will be in our hands.
“Given his age it would not be a bargain, but an investment that will expire. It depends on Barcelona and what they will do - whether it is better to have him rot on the bench or to give him to Napoli on loan where he can re-launch himself before returning to Barcelona.
“I cannot agree to such an acquisition of a 30-year-old, who in lasting three years - it would not make sense. I am for a 23-year-old, who would last at least five or 10 years.”
The movie producer used an analogy from the film world to explain.
“If I say to a director, ‘do you want Brad Pitt for a film?’ he will immediately tell me yes.
“But then perhaps I see a young actor in a television series, I find the right context and I win three times over, because he is younger, I have paid less and perhaps I can make further films with him.”
It was put to De Laurentiis that Mascherano would be an added personality to the dressing room.
“But the Coach should provide personality. They must all have personality, we are talking about professional people who earn a lot.
“Certainly you can have more or less experience in Europe, but I am for young squads.”
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