Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez is said to have been rather confused after receiving a call from Napoli chairman Aurelio de Laurentiis.
According to Italian source Il Mattino (H/T Sport Witness), the Partenopei chief called the Spanish boss to find out whether or not he would be interested in walking away from his post as Magpies gaffer in the summer as there could be a vacancy at Napoli at the end of the season.
Good quotes from Rafa Benitez at the weekend: "To finish eighth or 15th doesn’t change my life. I like to win trophies, not to finish tenth. " #nufc— David Coverdale (@dpcoverdale) April 30, 2018
De Laurentiis is bracing for Maurizio Sarri's exit, with the manager having impressed immensely this season. And, per the aforementioned source, he is already looking for potential replacements.
Benitez has been quite impressive himself, taking Newcastle back to the Premier League last year and doing enough to keep them there. He has since confirmed that talks over his future will be underway shortly, which does indicate that he could be willing to remain at the helm of the club, where he has already gained legendary status among the support. Yet he could be tempted by managing a team in the Champions League next season.
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He has already gone through a spell as Napoli boss, coaching there from 2013-2015, which would leave him with an advantage. And the newspaper is reporting that while he did not give De Laurentiis a yes, he did not say no either.
If all of this is true, it could be worrying for the Toon fans. However, Il Mattino also indicate that the reasons he quit Napoli in the first place still exist.