Rafael Benitez quashes Manchester City links

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Napoli manager Rafael Benitez has moved quickly to rubbish reports linking him with taking over at Manchester City at the end of the season, reports the Express.

Reports emerged earlier this week that the Spaniard could be offered an interim managers job at the Etihad Stadium whilst they wait for number-one target Pep Guardiola to become available.

Manuel Pellegrini's job is on the line after an unsuccessful season that is likely to end without a trophy and possibly missing out on the top-four and Champions League football.

Pellegrini's side were level on points with Chelsea in the New Year, but failing to win a single game during Yaya Toure's absence with the African Cup of Nations cost the club dearly and all-but ended their title push.

Losses to Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United have also put City's top-four hopes in jeopardy.

Success and Failures

City officials are reportedly considering the long-term vision of the club, and with Pellegrini likely to end the season trophyless, his job could be on the line.

The Chilean won the league and the Capital One Cup last season but has failed on all fronts this season, which is similar to Roberto Mancini when he was in charge at the Etihad Stadium. Mancini was eventually sacked from the club.

With Pellegrini's job uncertain, several managers have already been linked with taking over the hot-seat next season.

Potential Successors 

Diego Simeone, Jurgen Klopp and Benitez have all been mentioned as potential successors to Pellegrini, but the Atletico Madrid boss has already ruled out making the switch and Benitez has also dismissed the speculation.

The Spaniard's contract expires at the end of the current season and he is yet to hold contract talks with the Napoli board meaning he will be out of a job come the Summer.

Benitez Denies Talks

However, when asked about whether or not he'll be on his way to City, Benitez confirmed that he's held no discussions with the Premier League side as of yet.

"I have not had contacts with City, unlike what I've read in England.

"I have spoken to the [Napoli] president via messages but we have not been able to meet due to our busy playing schedule in order to evaluate the business plan. Now our focus is on matters on the pitch."

Benitez enjoyed spells with Liverpool and Chelsea during his time in England before he made the switch to Italy to take over at Napoli.

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