Napoli manager Rafa Benitez has refused to commit his future to the Italian side but believes that the Naples side can finish second in the Serie A this season. The Partenopei are currently five points behind second places Roma, the latter who have struggled in the past couple of months.
Benitez is out of contract at the end of the season and there is no guarantee on his future. The Spanish tactician in an interview with Canal Plus said, “I’ll speak about my future before the end of the season. For now I want to stay focused on the present, and the games we have coming up.”
“I have a good relationship with the players and the club, there’s still time to discuss this issue. When I leave Napoli, whether that’s in a year or five years, I want to the team to be more mature, especially at European level, with a squad to face every challenge.”
Benitez arrived at Napoli last season and has since guided them to two trophies winning the Coppa Italian last season and lifting the Supercoppa Italiana this term. Should the 54 year old leave Napoli at the end of the season, we take a look at three of his possible destinations.
Paris St Germain: There have been reports in the Italian media which have indicated that reigning French Champions PSG are interested in Benitez. Reputed French journalist Jonathan Johnson has also claimed that the Parisian outfit have shortlisted Diego Simeone, Benitez and Micheal Laudrup as possible replacements for Laurent Blanc.
AS: PSG have a list of 3 possible summer replacements for coach Laurent Blanc. Diego Simeone, Rafa Benitez & Michael Laudrup. In that order.
— Jonathan Johnson (@Jon_LeGossip) January 26, 2015
Blanc has struggled to manage several players in the dressing room while it is believed that the PSG hierarchy are unhappy over the club’s third position in the Ligue One standings. Should PSG fail to go beyond the quarter finals in the Champions League, Blanc could be sacked in the summer.
Valencia: The Spaniard is hailid as a legend at Valencia where he won two league titles with the Mestalla side in early 2000’s. Subsequent lack of funds and enormous debt had forced Valencia to sell their key players but with Singaporean businessman taking over the club in the summer, the condition has drastically improved. Valencia have now more or less cleared their debt and claim to compete with anyone in the transfer market.
Manager Nuno Espírito Santo has done a good job this season, they are currently fourth in the standings in the La Liga. Should they finish in a Champions League berth for next season, Lim would have greater ambitions and armoured with a sizeable transfer kitty, Benitez can work his magic yet again.
Manchester City: Manuel Pellegrini’s side are seven points adrift of Chelsea in the Premier League standings and are in danger to lose their crown to Jose Mourinho’s side. A less than favourable draw against Barcelona in the Champions League could also see them crash out in the first knock out round of Europe’s elite club competition.
City could line up Diego Simeone from Atletico in the summer but it is unlikely that the Argentine will leave the Rojiblancos. Pep Guardiola is another option for the Citizens while Benitez will fit in easily given his vast Premier League experience. Newcastle United are also interested in Benitez but its unlikely that the former Liverpool boss will take up the Magpies job.