Napoli boss Rafa Benitez has been under intense pressure at the start of the season after his failure to get the club into the Champions League for the first time in a few years. The team failed to the last hurdle in the qualifying stage. Even though it is well acknowledged that Napoli had a tough draw, many expected them to reach the stages of the prestigious European tournament. It would have given them access to more than £ 30 million in additional revenue. As it is, they will be playing in the group stages of the Europa league.
Rafa Benitez almost guided Napoli to an automatic Champions League spots last season after the club finished third in the table. However, the summer and the start of the season has been of huge pressure for the Spaniard, who has not only seen his team get knocked out of the qualifying stage of the Champions League but also suffer with poor form in the league. This has begun rumours that Benitez would be departing Napoli in the next few weeks. The Spaniard has been linked with a return to the Premier League with Newcastle being interested in his services.
Newcastle United is ready to pay the transfer fee of 15 million Pounds demanded by the Ligue 1 club Lyon for the French forward Alexandre Lacazette.
The Magpies will now have to hold personal talks with the player to agree terms with him as far as salary and the other perks are concerned.
Lacazette will have the company of a lot of his compatriots at St. James Park if he decides to go there.
Former Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez has ruled out the possibility of Pepe Reina rejoining Napoli, but this time on a permanent basis, in the summer transfer window. The Spaniard spent last season on loan at the Italian club after losing his first-team spot to Simon Mignolet. The Belgian goalkeeper still reigns supreme at Anfield, which is unlikely to allow Reina back into the first-team for the coming season. He is widely expected to be on his way out. Barcelona were rumoured as one of the possible destinations for the 32-year-old, but the Catalan club signed other transfer targets.
Napoli goalkeeper Rafael Cabral is once again expected to become the number one goalkeeper at the club after the departure of Pepe Reina. The Liverpool goalkeeper has returned to his parent club after a season long loan deal with the Italian outfit came to an end. Throughout the season, Reina was the first choice when it came to league matches while the 24-year-old, Cabral, was used as the cup goalkeeper. However, Cabral’s season suffered a turn for the worst after he was ruled out for four months with a broken leg.
Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher has stated that Tottenham should consider appointing former Liverpool and Chelsea manager Rafa Benitez, who he thinks will be a great appointment for the club given that he has incredible experience of the Premier league. Benitez is currently managing Italian outfit Napoli, but the first season at his new club does not seem to have gone according to plan. As a result, there have been suggestions that he may leave the club in the summer. He has also expressed interest in the Tottenham job in the past.
Napoli manager Rafa Benitez is reportedly looking at signing Swansea city defender Ashley Williams in the summer and the agent of the player has done little to quash the rumours.
Napoli have been one of the big spenders in the summer after splashing out more than £ 70 million on several new signings. Despite the spending, Napoli have been unable to make any sufficient improvements compared to last season when they were managed by Walter Mazzarri. Benitez, however, seems to have convinced the Napoli board that he needs more money to improve the team.
Napoli manager Rafa Benitez has played down the significance of a 1-0 defeat against FC Porto in the first leg by saying that his team can still qualify for the quarter-finals of the Europa league.
After failing to get past the Champions League group stages, Napoli have been demoted to the Europa league. This is the second successive season in this competition Rafa Benitez, who managed to win it with Chelsea in the summer. He is eyeing a repeat of the same this time around, but Napoli were dealt a huge blow after Jackson Martinez scored the only goal of the game in Portugal.
Javier Mascherano of Barcelona is a player that has aroused suspicion of leaving his current club in Spain with the possibility of joining his countryman Gonzalo Higuain in Napoli and working once more with Rafael Benitez as they both worked together in Liverpool some years ago.
Higuain describes Mascherano as a "warrior" and the forward is confident that the fans in Italy will be happy to see him joining Napoli.
"We know it is hard to move in January but the director Bigon is doing everything possible," the ex-Real Madrid player told Radio Kiss Kiss’’.
Italian football club Napoli might face English Premier League side Arsenal in a closed doors match as the Serie A team confront punishment for their fans making trouble during a match with Marseille, reported a leading UK based English daily.