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Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur have been urged to move fast if they want to secure the services of Colombian hotshot James Rodriguez after Italian giants Napoli stepped up their pursuit of the player.
According to the player’s agent, contact has already been made with the club and its president Aurelio de Laurentiis and he was impressed immensely by his vision of the club for the future.
But he has also claimed that the Serie A giants are not the only club monitoring the progress of the prodigious 22 year old playmaker with English powerhouses Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur also reportedly keen on bringing him to the Premier League.
According to the player’s agent, he has spoken with the president of Napoli and went on to add that Aurelio de Laurentiis is a great person and is definitely one of the great club presidents he has seen and worked with.
He then went on to add that Neapolitans are not the only side that is keen on the player with some other clubs also expressing their interest in the player and he will have to wait and see what happens.
Rodriguez is currently in Brazil for the World Cup with Colombia and he has been one of the stars of the tournament with his three goals helping the team secure passage through to the second round.
The former FC Porto player, who is currently contracted to French club AS Monaco, was closely followed by Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United before he made the move to France. But after one season with the principality side, he is keen to move on with many of his close aides expecting him to choose Napoli as he doesn’t rate English football much.
But whether the club has the finances to push such a deal is a different question.
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Rafa Benitez has once again started the war of words with Jose Mourinho after the Portuguese earlier claimed that Chelsea’s success in the Europa league last season under the Spaniard was not an achievement to be proud of. Mourinho was speaking after his team were involved in the Champions League quarter-final draw, while Benitez’ Napoli were part of the Europa league. Benitez successfully guided Chelsea to Europa league success after taking charge of the team midway through the campaign. By the time the Spaniard was appointed, Chelsea were on the brink of Champions League exit at the group stages.
Benitez has claimed that Mourinho likes to talk about people whereas he likes to talk about facts. The Spaniard has recalled that he managed to knock out a Chelsea team managed by Mourinho with his Liverpool team, which incidentally cost less than half of the Chelsea side. This happened in the 2005 Champions League semi-final when Liverpool managed to go on and achieve an incredible success in the competition. Benitez will have little to speak about Napoli’s campaign this season. After being involved in the Champions League group stages and finishing with 12 points, they were knocked out of the competition.
They have also been unable to prevent Juventus from winning the third straight league title despite spending £ 70 million in the summer.
“He speaks a lot about people – I like to talk about the facts. At Liverpool we eliminated his Chelsea from the Champions League with a team that cost half as much as his side,” said Benitez in response to the Chelsea manager’s latest comments. “Chelsea last year didn’t have a good season. They had problems qualifying for the Champions League and found themselves playing in the Europa with a team built for other objectives. If Juve win the Europa League it will mean nothing, as they were built for the Champions League,” said the Portuguese boss.
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The Europa League came to an end in Swansea City, Italy after their loss to Napoli with 3-1. The side of Garry Monk was playing in the very first knockout match in European competition which was very impressive but at the Stadio san Paolo, it only fell short. The hosts were put Lorenzo Insigne ahead in the 16th minute when it was equalized by Jonathan De Guzman on the half hour.
Player Gonzalo Higuain came to rescue the team in the 78th minute and to put Napoli back in the front. The Swans came in forcefully to make it 2-2 but just then the goal keeper of Napoli, Jose Reina, gave an amazing one headed save to repel the player. Gokahan Inler played exceptionally well as he scored the third second of the team from time. Napoli will be taking in Porto next time.
Garry Monk had hoped for a strong performance from his players after the impressing game in Wale. Napoli wasted a good opportunity when Goran Pandey established a safe Higuain in the box, whereas his strike went over the bar. But the home side of Napoli opened its scoring sheet after Higuain caught sight of Insigne and hit a haphazard shot which made the ball go over the goalkeeper of Swansea, Michel Vorm
This was replied by Swansea when De Guzman hit a strike from 30 yards away but was unfortunately saved by Reina. Higuain’s right footed shot went wide of Vorm’s post. Ben Davies’ was cleared by a defender from Napoli as Swansea looked for an opportunity to equalize the score board. These efforts were fulfilled when De Guzman was cleverly sent in and he hit a 18 yard shot past Reina which kept 900 fans of Swans in amazement.