Napoli manager Rafael Benitez is set to open contract talks with his current club over a new deal, despite reports linking him with the Newcastle United job as pressure mounts on Alan Pardew.
The Spaniard, who enjoyed two spells in England, with Liverpool and then with Chelsea, has gained a good reputation in the Premier League, despite the fans not being so impressed with him during his Stamford Bridge days. Now, with Pardew's job at risk, reports have linked him with taking over at St. James Park.
However, Benitez has reassured Napoli fans that his full focus is on the club and believes his good, working relationship with Aurelio De Laurentiis is a big factor in him wanting to stay at the club.
Champions League failure
Despite having a solid relationship with the club's president, Benitez's job was on the line after he failed to get the club out of their Champions League group stage last season.
The Italian side finished on a staggering 12 points from their six games, but unluckily for them, so did Premier League side, Arsenal, and German side, Borussia Dortmund, meaning Napoli had to settle for a Europa League place.
Pressure on Benitez grew further this Summer after they failed to qualify for the Champions League after losing in the play-offs to Spanish side, Athletico Bilbao.
Rift in the camp
To go with the failure to proceed through the Champions League last season, there were continuous reports claiming Benitez had fallen out with De Laurentiis due to disagreements over transfers and finances made available.
However, Benitez has been quick to rubbish those reports by claiming he has a great relationship with the president.
"I have a good feeling with president Aurelio De Laurentiis and I want to underline this because I sometimes hear rumours about an angry Benitez," he said.
"De Laurentiis is a man who is doing a lot for Napoli. Yesterday we spoke a lot about the future and the Super Cup.
"We are working on important planning.
Benitez then continued by discussing the latest situation regarding a new deal at the club.
"When De Laurentiis comes back from the USA we will talk about the contract and how the team is growing.
"But now, we must only think about the present."
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