Rafael Benitez is refusing to discuss his future with Napoli, but has advised his current employers that he has been in demand of late.
The Spaniard remains one of the most highly-regarded coaches in European football, due initially to his time at Valencia when he broke the Barcelona and Real Madrid stranglehold to win the La Liga title on two occasions. This prompted interest from Liverpool, and he was a success on Merseyside having won the UEFA Champions League in 2005 and the FA Cup the following year.
Although his spell at Internazionale proved to be brief and disappointing, he restored his reputation when he returned to England with Chelsea. Although he wasn’t a popular appointment amongst the Stamford Bridge faithful, he remained resolute with his determination and was rewarded when he led the Blues to UEFA Europa League success in Amsterdam in 2013.
Shortly after this victory he was approached by Napoli, and he then signed a two-year contract with the Serie A club. In his first season he led Partenopei to the last 16 of the Europa League and, more impressively, glory in the Coppa Italia when they beat Fiorentina 3-1, which was followed up with a penalty shootout Supercoppa success against Juventus this season.
The Naples-based club are currently fourth in the Serie A standings and chasing a third-place finish which would return them to the Champions League, so it is fair to say Benitez’s stock is high. It is no wonder then that his employers want him to extend a contract which is due to expire in the summer, but the 54-year-old is taking his time and claims to have other admirers.
“The President [Aurelio De Laurentiis] has said we’ll talk later, and I say the same,” he said in his press conference. “I can say that to date there have been offers, but nothing has come of them because I’m busy here, and I want to win even more. We’ll evaluate things in a couple of months. In a few months we’ll see where we are in the standings, but also in all other respects.”
Is Benitez hankering after a move away from Napoli, or will he eventually commit to the Serie A club? Let us know what you think by joining the discussion below.