Rafael Benitez is ready to hijack Inter Milan's deal for Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Erik Lamela, reports talkSPORT.
Spurs chairman Daniel Levy was desperate to strengthen his side last Summer after selling star-man Gareth Bale for £85million, and eventually, £30m of that was spent on Lamela, who was seen as the ideal replacement.
However, the winger failed to make the wanted impact and didn't feature for the Premier League side frequently, making only nine appearances last season.
The 22-year-old has been keen on making a swift return to Italy since January, and there were numerous reports linking him with a loan move back to the country in the winter window, but nothing ever materialised, and he had to remain at White Hart Lane.
Now with a busy summer expected in north London for Levy and new manager Mauricio Pochettino, Lamela could be subject of another transfer battle, and it's reported to be between Napoli and Inter Milan, who are both keen to bring him back to Serie A on loan for the whole season.
After making just three Premier League appearances under Andre Villas-Boas and Tim Sherwood, Lamela's future is expected to be discussed heavily by both Levy and Pochettino, and the chairman needs to decide whether to stick by the Argentinian ace, or cut a loss with him and see him go out on loan.
It's believed that Lamela is interested in a loan move back to Italy so that he can continue pushing his career, and with reports suggesting Inter Milan were favourites to sign him, it's now Benitez who is leading the race as he looks set to hijack the deal.
Benitez is keen to strengthen on his Napoli side that fell short in all competitions this season, apart from the Coppa Italia, which they won after beating Fiorentina 3-1 in the final, but the Spaniard is desperate to conquer Europe with his new side, similar to the achievements he made with Liverpool, in the Champions League, and Chelsea in the Europa League.
Napoli are looking for defensive improvements, but are also keen to add attacking options as well to add more firepower to help Gonzalo Higuain.
The Italian side finished third last season, 24 points behind champions Juventus, and seven points behind Roma.
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