Football

Hamsik more valuable than Bale, says Benitez

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Napoli boss Rafael Benitez has dismissed reports linking midfielder Marek Hamsik with a move away from the club, claiming he is more valuable than world record transfer Gareth Bale.

The Slovakia international has been with the club since a €5.5m switch from Brescia in 2007 and has seen his stock rise considerably in that time, with many touting him as one of the world's top midfielders.

And after attracting interest from a number of top European clubs over the last two seasons, Benitez has been quick to ward off any potential suitors.

He told Mediaset: "Is Bale worth the 100 million euros Real Madrid paid for him? If so, then I'd say you can't put a price on Hamsik - and he is not for sale."

Bale joined Real Madrid from Tottenham in the last days of the transfer window for an astronomical £85m fee and Benitez has made it clear that in that sort of climate, his midfield maestro is priceless.

Still only 26 years old, Hamsik has already notched 66 caps for the Slovakian national side as well as compiling an impressive record of 74 goals in 264 appearances for Napoli, leading the Spaniard to compare him with Liverpool's Steven Gerrard.

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Gareth Bale
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