Report – Rafa Benitez Identifies Top Player He Wants At Napoli


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.

Comments welcome.


44 comments so far

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    May 2, 2018 at 10:01 AM

    Comment #1

    Rafa could be looking for a new employer as we speak…doesn’t mean he’ll leave though!

    …it means he plans ahead

    1
  • Essex Geordie Bill

    May 2, 2018 at 10:04 AM

    Comment #2

    Is that so, well I think that’s me off, I’ll come back Saturday when we have something to talk about.

    1
  • TheJimBelow

    May 2, 2018 at 10:05 AM

    Comment #3

    So that’s how it feels to miss the bus….

    Agreed with magscar and Jib on previous thread re Cashley and taking the £££ with you etc..

    The Napoli interest (among others) is excellent leverage for Rafa in negotiations.
    Also
    I always just remind myself that he is a proper family man and his wife and daughters are settled in England, helps me believe he’s not going anywhere.
    Helps me hope maybe..

    6
  • magscar

    May 2, 2018 at 10:07 AM

    Comment #4

    Ancient sorry for repost couldn’t resist 🙂
    magscar

    May 2, 2018 at 10:03 AM

    Comment #12
    Ancient

    If I may add I did read your take on Napoli situation and whilst it has merit it is perhaps a little selective in reasoning and ignores the wider picture which I have tried to consider as nothing stands still.

    I would argue that Napoli along with other speculative offers rearing their heads in last week are not in forefront of Rafa’s mind right now as I believe he would rather stay and reap the rewards here.

    It is not of course as simpe as that and both parties are well aware of that but as I have previously mentioned the current mood music is one of say “let’s talk” as opposed to ” I have had enough and I’m considering other offers” .

    Yeah by no means easy to bridge the gap in expectations and Ashley’s lack of football ambitions but as I keep arguing we are in a different scenario than before given Rafas love for club and people and the proximity of his family. Not many jobs offer that to Rafa along with the potential to leave a clear mark as he nears the end of a career .

    I put great store by that as a fan but Ashley certainly shouldn’t if he doesn’t want to overplay his weaker hand!

    1
  • magscar

    May 2, 2018 at 10:08 AM

    Comment #5

    TheJimbelow on last thread

    Thanks – better than a “heart” I say

    3
  • TheJimBelow

    May 2, 2018 at 10:10 AM

    Comment #6

    Rotonda
    From previous thread,
    The wheelchair users jumping up..

    Did that really happen? Haven’t heard about that but talk about giving yourself away!
    😀

    2
  • Jail for Ashley

    May 2, 2018 at 10:12 AM

    Comment #7

    magscar,
    The hearts are utterly pointless, it’s been shown they can be manipulated and who cares about them anyway. The blog carried on for nine years without them so I really can’t see what purpose they serve.

    17
  • magscar

    May 2, 2018 at 10:14 AM

    Comment #8

    What makes me smile is that any seemingly “positive” news is disparagingly dismissed as Bishop’ s PR but other speculation such as Napoli is gleefully explored.

    What it must be to have such a fixed position so well anchored and fortified that nothing can break through.

    6
  • Jail for Ashley

    May 2, 2018 at 10:18 AM

    Comment #9

    magscar,
    What positive news is dismissed. That they’re wanting to offer Rafa a new deal while in the process of hanging him out to dry in the transfer market or that qualifying for the CL means winning something.

    1
  • magscar

    May 2, 2018 at 10:23 AM

    Comment #10

    Jail

    Perhaps but they are a social media phenomenon we have to live with.

    You did seem happy however to applaud how many you had received in a recent battle with Jib as a sign you had the upper hand 🙂

    In my case it leaves me with the impression that someone has actually bothered to read a post which unless someone under the old system simply ridiculed it I hadn’t a clue if it had even been digested.

    I do come across as serious I appreciate but do have a good sense of humour and like you said last night I mainly enjoy the Blog and it takes all sorts to make it function as well as it does

    10
  • magscar

    May 2, 2018 at 10:25 AM

    Comment #11

    Jail

    There you go stop coming across so angry 🙂

    PR is used on both sides – Rafa is an acknowledged master at it.

    7
  • Jib

    May 2, 2018 at 10:25 AM

    Comment #12

    Jail – What positive news is dismissed

    many things

    More than PCP interested in buying NUFC
    Most positive comments by players
    Any pundit that makes positive comments about Ashley

    all dissed by certain bloggers as Bishop spin

    5
  • Jail for Ashley

    May 2, 2018 at 10:32 AM

    Comment #13

    Jib,
    Do you mean like Stuart Pearce saying how good Mikey is or Peter Beardsley telling us how good Alan Pardew is?

    3
  • magscar

    May 2, 2018 at 10:34 AM

    Comment #14

    Jail

    In all that I read on here and on other forums if the situation was as stark as repeated on here and Rafa has been treated like an absolute mug then why stay when he has good offers elsewhere.

    A conundrum explained to me simply by realising that he wants to make it work and this isn’t simply another job.

    As I have said over the months Rafa is potentially the best ever NUFC manager and the only one capable right now of dealing with the unique situation of a fan base in total love with the manager but an owner not wanted. Rafa has the experience to use situation to his and our advantage.

    1
  • Jib

    May 2, 2018 at 10:36 AM

    Comment #15

    Jail
    It may come as a surprise to you
    but
    not everyone in the world holds the same views as you

    6
  • magscar

    May 2, 2018 at 10:40 AM

    Comment #16

    Jail

    Those examples are probably a better guide to Pierce and Beardsley being not consistently good judges of people than any sign of the Bishop at p!ay 🙂

    1
  • magscar

    May 2, 2018 at 10:42 AM

    Comment #17

    Anyway have outstayed my welcome so off for now

    0
  • Jail for Ashley

    May 2, 2018 at 10:46 AM

    Comment #18

    magscar,
    Aye, those comments were made before Bishop arrived on the scene. Mikey must have realised how ridiculously unbelievable they sounded so hired a spin doctor.

    1
  • Jail for Ashley

    May 2, 2018 at 10:47 AM

    Comment #19

    Jib,
    I think about 97% of supporters share my views on Mike Ashley.

    5
  • Rotonda heights

    May 2, 2018 at 11:04 AM

    Comment #20

    The jim below

    Yes my mate sent me the video on facebook with the tag line Liverpool’s disabled section after Liverpool score.

    when you first see it I thought it was a gag but sure enough when you look closely yes they are jumping out of wheelchairs!!!!

    0
  • TheJimBelow

    May 2, 2018 at 11:26 AM

    Comment #21

    Rotonda

    LOL unbelievable man!

    It reminds me of the ongoing sketch from The Fast Show that had a very smart detective duping people into believing he was simple (like a slower Columbo) and when they dropped their guard and he got his result he’d simply point and go “a-ha!” At them and they knew they’d had it lol
    🙂

    1
  • bettyswallocks

    May 2, 2018 at 11:30 AM

    Comment #22

    Rafa will be flattered by the approach from Napoli no doubt but Serie A is not what it once was. The EPL is where it’s at for the big boys now and we have to assume that if he’s given some new tools he’s still up for the job.

    2
  • hibbit

    May 2, 2018 at 11:35 AM

    Comment #23

    bettyswallocks

    but this is Ashley Rafa’s dealing with is it safe to assume anything !!!

    1
  • ArtyH

    May 2, 2018 at 11:45 AM

    Comment #24

    Rafa is a logical guy, here is the issue: He knows TFCB will not change or will lie to him and screw him over now or at a later date, fact! So if he stays its going to be a real challenge/struggle. If he goes to ANY other club he will make sure they have an owner with ambition and direction and with some football knowledge. He’s not got that here unfortunately, so what would you do???
    TFCB has to go or Rafa will, simples.

    2
  • dig-n-dig22

    May 2, 2018 at 11:59 AM

    Comment #25

    Rotonda Previous.

    “Ashley not willing to sell at a reasonable price”.
    Before the last Jan window £250 Mill for NUFC was a big gamble, but now, £400 Mill now is a good investment with Rafa as manager. Unfortunately for Rafa It’s been a double edged sword, securing Prem status has increased the value of the club. Rafa has laid a good foundation at the club and now we could challenge the top six next season with some wise investment. It won’t happen under Ashley, Rafa want’s to compete at the highest level , treading water in the lower half of the Prem or 10th place isn’t acceptable for Rafa. At the end of the season Rafa can walk away with his head held high if Ashley doesn’t give Rafa what he think’s he needs.Let’s hope new buyers invest in the potential.

    1
  • RobLeenio

    May 2, 2018 at 12:02 PM

    Comment #26

    Here’s a way to throw a cat amongst the pigeons.

    There was a player meeting at Benton last night. It’s definitely not a regular thing. Not sure if the management were there too, but I imagine they were.

    What was being discussed is the question on my mind.

    3
  • Optimistic Panda

    May 2, 2018 at 12:04 PM

    Comment #27

    Robleenio

    Rafas leaving party

    0
  • hibbit

    May 2, 2018 at 12:06 PM

    Comment #28

    RobLeenio
    you ITK got some information for us ??????????

    1
  • RobLeenio

    May 2, 2018 at 12:10 PM

    Comment #29

    Not ITK in the slightest – a colleague coaches kids’ football, he’s there every Tuesday afternoon at the same time and saw them all leaving. He’s never seen them all there at that time before. Definitely out of the ordinary.

    1
  • RobLeenio

    May 2, 2018 at 12:19 PM

    Comment #30

    Someone mentioned the players weren’t expected back for training till Tuesday so it could be they had their usual training session then had to stay back for a rollicking off Rafa because of the two losses on the bounce or maybe some video analysis to get them back on track. In other words, something completely mundane and boring.

    1
  • Tsunki

    May 2, 2018 at 12:21 PM

    Comment #31

    “You, you, you aaaaaand you – see ya.

    The rest of you can stay for preseason.”

    3
  • Tsunki

    May 2, 2018 at 12:21 PM

    Comment #32

    Ha ha probably a bit early for the dustpan and brush 🙂

    1
  • dig-n-dig22

    May 2, 2018 at 12:24 PM

    Comment #33

    Maybe Staverly was giving directions out to the players for the new training facilities?

    1
  • lochinvar

    May 2, 2018 at 12:24 PM

    Comment #34

    Newcastle United have confirmed the club is still for sale and that contract talks with manager Rafa Benitez are “ongoing”.

    Owner Mike Ashley put the Magpies up for sale in October after 10 years in charge of the Premier League club.

    In January he ended £250m takeover talks with businesswoman Amanda Staveley, though Staveley said she was still interested.

    At a fans forum last week, the club stated “the position has not changed”.

    “If or when there is anything to update, the club would do so,” it added.

    1
  • bettyswallocks

    May 2, 2018 at 12:26 PM

    Comment #35

    Poor Jib is suffering from the following symptoms: –

    Not satisfied when drinking his cider and the front of his shirt is wet through.
    Probable causes are his mouth not being open when drinking or applying the glass to the wrong part of his face.

    3
  • Chancel My MBembaship

    May 2, 2018 at 12:39 PM

    Comment #36
  • RobLeenio

    May 2, 2018 at 12:39 PM

    Comment #37

    Jeez, the questions asked during the fans’ forum were weak sauce. Why did nobody ask why this is the first meeting of the season, against Premier League guidelines? Or why no money was spent in January? or if the club has a plan B if Rafa leaves? Or who the hell Justin Barnes is and what role he has in the club?

    Sheesh.

    4
  • Chancel My MBembaship

    May 2, 2018 at 12:40 PM

    Comment #38

    Oops, hadn’t realised that Lochinvar had just posted that very story.

    0
  • sing in the corner

    May 2, 2018 at 12:45 PM

    Comment #40

    I am busy considering my position as a season ticket holder at the moment… Like many others, I suspect.
    Worst case (and I think most likely) scenario: there is no real indication what the future holds by the time the renewal deadline comes. Rafa quite rightly stalling on committing to a new contract and demanding clarity about the club’s ambition, transfer policy / budget.
    I love the club and want to be there every game. But I don’t fancy being led on and on yet again. Starting another season and being complicit in Ashley’s ground hog day manoeuvres.
    Maybe it’s time to go back to match to match tickets for now…
    We’ll see..

    2

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