Napoli confirm Benitez appointment
Napoli have confirmed the appointment of former Chelsea boss Rafael Benitez as their new manager.
The Spaniard completed his Blues reign with two defeats to Manchester City in the United States last week and Napoli were quick to acquire his services as the replacement for Walter Mazzarri, who has moved to Inter Milan.
"Rafa Benitez is the new coach of Napoli," read a statement on Napoli's official website on Monday night. "The agreement was signed today in London. SSC Napoli is happy to welcome a coach so prestigious in their own family. A welcome also to his collaborators."
The news was first broken by club president Aurelio de Laurentiis, who announced the signing on his verified Twitter feed. De Laurentiis posted a picture of himself shaking hands with Benitez, and wrote: "Rafa Benitez is the new coach of Napoli. A great man with international experience. A leader."
The appointment ends the mounting speculation over the 53-year-old's future after he was linked with the vacancies at Real Madrid and Stoke. Mazzarri resigned from the Serie A runners-up last Sunday night and was confirmed as the new Inter Milan coach on Friday.
The Italian guided Napoli to the Coppa Italia in 2012 and their second-placed finish this term in Serie A is their best league placing since they won the Scudetto in 1990.
This is not the first time Benitez has followed a successful manager in Italy. He moved to the San Siro the summer after Jose Mourinho had guided Inter to the Champions League and will be met with lofty expectations in Naples.
His first job will be attempting to keep hold of star player Edinson Cavani, who has been heavily linked with a move away from Italy this summer.
Benitez led Chelsea to Europa League glory and a third-placed finish in the Barclays Premier League this season after replacing Roberto Di Matteo in November.
Benitez's won the Champions League with Liverpool in 2005 and this month's Europa League triumph followed success in its predecessor, the UEFA Cup, with Valencia in 2004 before his move to Anfield. The 53-year-old also won the Primera Division twice with Los Che and has won the English and Italian domestic cups with the Reds and Inter.