La Gazzetta dello Sport report that Rafa Benitez remains an option for Napoli as the Spanish coach would ‘return to the club immediately’. Doubts over Luciano Spalletti’s future in Naples continue to circulate in the Italian press, prompting speculation over a potential successor at the newly crowned Scudetto winners.
Gazzetta claim that De Laurentiis has Luis Enrique at the top of his wish list, but there is the Benitez option, given that he already knows the environment and has market knowledge that could come in handy in strengthening the team, especially if some big name, like Kim Min-Jae, were to leave the club. Benitez would accept immediately, writes Gazzetta:
“Then there is the Benitez option. And from that point of view, the president needs less time to probe. In the sense that Rafa has sent clear messages and would be motivated to return to Italy. Talks, at least for the past few years, have resumed between the two after a rather stormy farewell in 2015. De Laurentiis knows that the international road, at least in the market, Napoli took precisely eight years ago with the Madrid coach. And so his knowledge would also be useful to “fish” for some other talent and still manage a team that is already strong and that with a few tweaks could well “endure” some major departures. Given that, for example, in England they now take for granted the passage of Korean Kim Min-jae to Manchester United, now that the Red Devils are sure to participate in the next Champions League.”
“For sure he hasn’t made a definitive move yet, but contacts with Rafa Benitez have been there for some time and the Spanish coach knows the environment and ambitions very well, as well as respecting Spalletti and his work quite a lot.”