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Marseille’s defender Nicolas N’Koulou is a player that Rafael Benitez is keen on adding to his squad in Napoli but he will be forced to wait at least until June in order to launch an official offer for the 23 years old player.
The French side Marseille is located in 5th place of the Ligue 1 and is hoping to secure a Champions League spot as well as fight for the respective league title and cannot afford on selling one of their best players and performers of this season which is why they will not listen to any offers at least until June.
One of the rising stars of Hellas Verona, Jorge Jorginho has attracted the attention of Rafael Benitez as he wants to sign him up for Napoli.
“Jorginho is a player we have been following for a long time,” Benitez told Italian Radio Kiss Kiss.
“I have full confidence in the work of our sporting director Riccardo Bigon. He has always done well and we are working together at 100 per cent. We did some good things in the transfer market last summer. Of course, we would prefer to sign Italian players in the transfer market as the adaptation period is easier. We are looking but it is not always easy to get the best Italian players to join Napoli.”
It is believed that Napoli is willing to pay €8 million upfront and another €2.5 will be added as a performance related payment. The agent of Jorginho stated that his client can leave Hellas Verona if the price is right and he later went on praising Napoli as he considers the club to be one of the most important in Italy.
“He can leave Verona now if he receives a great offer if an important proposal arrives it is fair that the player is allowed to leave. In Italy there are three or four teams who can pay for him and Napoli is one of them. Napoli is one of the most important clubs in Italy’’. The agent of Jorginho stated when he was questioned about the future of his client.
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The manager of Napoli, Rafa Benitez, is ready to make some big signings this January. He has a couple of Premier League players on his radar i.e. Bacary Sagna (Arsenal) and Mousa Dembele (Tottenham Hotspur) and he will be trying hard to secure the services of both those guys during the upcoming transfer window.
Napoli has done alright in the top flight in Italy so far this season, but, Benitez knows that his team has a few defensive issues and that’s why, he is eager to sign a player who can strengthen that area. Recently, he has brought in Anthony Reveillere who is a veteran defender, but, he wants somebody slightly younger as well and thus, he is planning to bid for Sagna.
Sagna’s contract at the Emirates Stadium is going to expire at the end of the ongoing season and he is unlikely to sign a new deal there. So, he will be a free agent next summer, but, Benitez is not ready to wait till that time. He wants to land Sagna at Stadio San Paolo in January.
Sagna has been a top player for the Gunners in the last few years and he has also been reported to be on the radar of a few Ligue 1 clubs.
As far as Dembele is concerned, he is not playing regularly for the first team of Spurs at the moment and he is not likely to do so in the second half of the season either. With Belgian World Cup side to be announced in a few months’ time, he would be looking for some first team football and thus, it shouldn’t be surprising at all if he gets lured to Napoli by Benitez.
Dembele had arrived at White Hart Lane at the start of the previous season.
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Former Chelsea manager Rafa Benitez will be returning to England for the first time since his departure from the West London outfit in the summer. He will be bringing his Napoli team to play against Arsenal in the group stages of the Champions league. Appointed as the interim manager, Benitez managed to get to the club finished in third place and he also won the Europa league trophy as well. Chelsea were already in the Europa league when Benitez was appointed as the manager. Since taking over at Napoli, he has managed to transform the Italian club into one of the title challengers.
He has said that the target was to finish in the top four because of the poor start made by the club under former manager Roberto di Matteo. He is happy to have achieved this target of the club, while also winning the Europa league, which was a bonus. Napoli are a prestigious club, but they have not been real title challengers since the days of Diego Maradona. The path laid by former manager Walter Mazzarri has been built even further by Benitez. After opening the European season with a brilliant 2-1 win over last season’s finalists Borussia Dortmund, the club will be hoping to get at least a point away from the Emirates.
“I am pleased, because we won. We finished in the top three, which was the target and won the Europa League. The majority of professionals and the people who followed the team every day could see that we were trying to do our best and we did a good job in the end. After 26 years of coaching around the world, you have to adapt and you have to enjoy it when you have an opportunity to manage at a team like Napoli in the Champions League,” said Benitez.
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