There was a report in the Italian daily newspaper Il Mattino yesterday that Napoli owner Aurelio de Laurentiis called Rafa this week to discuss his future.
It seems the owner wants him to return to Napoli as the head coach should the current head coach Maurizio Sarri move to Chelsea this summer.
Rafa had a good two years at Napoli from 2013 when he managed the club for 112 games for a win ratio of 52.7% before he left the club and was then signed by Real Madrid in June 2015.
Rafa Benitez – already in demand
The report is that Rafa was not expecting the call from Aurelio de Laurentiis and was said to be “perplexed.”
Other words that come to mind with perplexed are confused and bewildered.
Here’s a piece from the Il Mattino report:
“Benitez did not expect the call and was very perplexed.” “He did not say no, but he did not even say yes.”
“On the other hand, the reasons why he went away from Naples are still all intact.”
“The sports center was not there and it is not there, the structures are the same since then and so on.”
One reason Rafa has liked it at Newcastle is that he is close to his wife and two daughters in the Wirral, but it’s interesting Rafa didn’t immediately turn down the idea of returning to Naples.
Leicester City are also said to be interested in Rafa joining them this summer, when and if they fire former Southampton manager Claude Puel.
The Chronicle are reporting the link to Leicester is probably because their current head of recruitment is his close friend Eduardo Macia, who was once the Technical Director at Valencia.
That’s when Rafa was the head coach there from 2001 through 20014 when he joined Liverpool.
We also have to think that West Ham will likely make a move for Rafa in the summer since it’s very doubtful David Moyes will stay at the Hammers when his six-month contract ends this summer.
We hope that Lee Charnley and Mike Ashley moved quickly to get Rafa signed up and it doesn’t go on for weeks and weeks – like most negotiations at Newcastle.