Thursday 29 September 2016

Rafa Benitez rubbishes speculation over possible move to Manchester City

Published 22/04/2015 | 13:18

Former Liverpool and Chelsea boss Rafael Benitez is in his second season in charge of Serie A side Napoli
Former Liverpool and Chelsea boss Rafael Benitez is in his second season in charge of Serie A side Napoli

Napoli coach Rafa Benitez on Wednesday quashed speculation that he is to return to the Premier League to coach Manchester City.

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The former Liverpool and Chelsea manager has yet to sign a contract extension with Napoli, with his current deal ending this summer.

It has been rumoured Benitez could replace Manuel Pellegrini at the helm of City at the end of the campaign.

However, Benitez said to the Italian press: "I have not had contacts with City, unlike what I've read in England.

"I have spoken to the (Napoli) president via messages but we have not been able to meet due to our busy playing schedule in order to evaluate the business plan.

"Now our focus is on matters on the pitch."

Benitez joined Napoli in the summer of 2013 and led the Naples outfit to the Coppa Italia title and third place in Serie A in his first season in charge.

Napoli are fourth in the league this term and are firmly on course to reach the semi-finals of the Europa League.

The Italians host Bundesliga side Wolfsburg in Thursday's quarter-final return leg holding a 4-1 advantage from last week's opening leg in Germany.

"We can fight until the end for all of our aims," Benitez said. "We can still qualify for the Champions league, whether it is by winning the Europa League or by finishing in the top three of Serie A.

"We all know how crucial qualification for the Champions League would be in terms of future investments."

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