Barcelona have made Mascherano feel important – Benitez

The Napoli coach believes the Argentina international is unlikely to consider leaving the club and would not be drawn on interest in Manchester United’s Marouane Fellaini

Napoli boss Rafa Benitez has conceded that Javier Mascherano is unlikely to leave Barcelona as the club have “made him feel important” again.

The Argentina international was heavily linked with a move to the San Paolo earlier this year as Benitez sought a reunion with an important player from his Liverpool days.

However, the 30-year-old signed a contract extension with the Catalans at the beginning of July to pledge his future to the club, and Benitez admits he is unlikely to leave after being made to feel valued under new boss Luis Enrique.

“He has two years left on his contract. They know he is an important player, they talked to him and made him feel more important,” he told Sky Sport Italia.

“We must continue to work with these players and see if we can improve what we have.”

Napoli have also been monitoring Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini, who is believed to be surplus to requirements under new manager Louis van Gaal.

Benitez, however, refused to be drawn on whether a bid for the Belgian could be imminent.

“Fellaini? He has a contract with Manchester United, so we’re thinking about the players we have,” he added.

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