There’s a report in the Sun today that says that Chelsea center-back David Luiz could be signing for Napoli in the summer if Rafa takes the manager job offered to him back in Naples.
The Sun report says that Rafa has now identified the center-back he coached at Chelsea as the player to replace Kalidou Koulibaly.
Maurizio Sarri is highly favored to replace Antonio Conte at Chelsea this summer, and he would be expected to take the 6ft 4ins Senegal International center-back with him if he gets the job.
The Sun reports that Rafa got the very best out of David Luiz while the caretaker manager at Chelsea back in 2012-2013 when he won the Europa League with the Blues.
Rafa Benitez – while Napoli manager
There were reports in Italy earlier this week that Napoli club President Aurelio Di Laurentiis contacted Rafa Benitez about returning to the club in the summer.
And while Rafa was surprised by the call he has made no decision on whether to take up the offer.
And Di Laurentiis is reported willing to bring in David Luiz to the club as a further attraction for Rafa to return to Italy.
Rafa Benitez is receiving lots of praise for what he has done at Newcastle this season, with almost no investment from Newcastle owner Mike Ashley.
It’s not a surprise that other clubs want Rafa Benitez this summer and their advantage could be that they give Rafa big money to spend and back him in the transfer market.
We are still unclear whether Mike Ashley will do that at Newcastle, but we are hoping he will.
At least enough to get Rafa to sign an extended deal to stay at the Tyneside club.
But we don’t think Rafa is anywhere near deciding to return to Napoli, and this David Luiz story is probably separate from Rafa joining the Italian club.
Rafa has also said since coming to Newcastle that he wants to coach in England to be close to his family home in the Wirral, Cheshire.
It’s also been clear from Rafa’s comments that he still prefers to stay at Newcastle if possible, so we are hoping Lee Charnley, and Mike Ashley move quickly to sign him up.
These links of Rafa interesting other top clubs will only increase while there is any doubt about his Newcastle future.
Rafa’s “project” at Newcastle is now two years old, and the manager has made real progress since he joined us – even though we suffered an immediate relegation in 2016.