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Benitez close to agreeing new Napoli deal

Rafa Benitez's agent is "optimistic" he will soon reach an agreement with the Serie A club for his client to remain in Naples beyond this summer.

Benitez's current deal expires at the end of this season and his agent Manuel Garcia Quilon held constructive talks in Naples on Thursday with Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis over the new contract.

Rafa Benitez looks set to stay. Credit: PA

"I'm an optimist by nature," Quilon said to Italian TV channel Mediaset. "The deal will not be completed today but we will need at least four or five days.

"When there are two people at the negotiating table you can't say with any certainty that a deal will be struck. The negotiations are ongoing."

  1. Natalie Pirks - ITV News Sport Reporter

Benitez: 'I have no problem with the board' at Chelsea

Chelsea manager Rafa Benitez entered today's press conference beaming in front of the flash bulbs.

"If you analyse carefully what I said...I said if we stick together behind the team we will get points," he said.

"I have no problems with the board, Abramovich or the players," he added.

"I would like to see a fantastic atmosphere supporting the team."

Rafael Benitez reveals plan to leave Chelsea

Chelsea interim manager Rafael Benitez revealed during a press conference last night that he will stand down at the end of the season.

Speaking after Chelsea's 2-0 win against Middlesbrough, Benitez said he was "disappointed" with some fans who he described as "wasting time" making negative banners instead of supporting the club.

He also revealed that he did not expect the word "interim" to be added to his title when he signed his contract:


Benitez: 'I'm disappointed with some fans'

Chelsea interim manager Rafael Benitez has confirmed he will leave the club at the end of the season. Credit: PA Wire

Rafael Benitez was appointed on a short-term deal in November to replace sacked Champions League-winning boss Roberto Di Matteo but was never popular with fans and results have not improved.

He said: "I have been in charge in football for 26 years. I have won the Champions League, won the FIFA Club World Cup, the FA Cup, the Italian Supper Cup, the Spanish league twice, nine trophies, all the trophies you can win at club level.

"A group of fans, they are not doing any favours for the team when they are singing and wasting time preparing banners.

"It's because someone made a mistake. They put my title (as) 'interim manager', and I will leave at the end of the season, so they don't need to waste time with me.

"They have to concentrate on supporting the team, that's what they have to do.

In the end, they are not doing any favours to the club, to the rest of the fans and to the players.

"Every game they continue singing and they continue preparing banners, they are wasting time. What they have to do is support the team.

"If we cannot achieve what we expect to achieve, that is to be in the top four and be in the Champions League for next year, I will leave; they will stay in the Europa League."

Benitez targets Europa League glory after Champions League exit

Chelsea interim manager Rafa Benitez has set his sights on Europa League glory - despite becoming the first Champions League holders to exit at the group stage.

Chelsea boss Rafa Benitez Credit: Nick Potts/PA Wire

The Blues beat FC Nordsjaelland 6-1 at Stamford Bridge, but were knocked out as Juventus' victory at Shakhtar Donetsk condemned them to third place in Group E.

The Europa League now awaits the west Londoners, whose manager Benitez collected his first win since replacing Roberto di Matteo.

He said: "You ask me if I will take the Europa League seriously; every competition is important for us so we will try to do our best and win if we can.

"We know that it is an important competition and we want to go as far as we can and if we can win the competition, we will try to do that."

Report: Guardiola 'approached by Chelsea to be boss'

Spanish football expert Guillem Balague has revealed that Pep Guardiola has been approached to become the new Chelsea boss, but that ex-Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez has not:

This week Pep Guardiola has been approached to take over Chelsea if the sacking got confirmed.

Pep said he will continue with his sabbatical.

Pep will doubt if it is a good idea to work for a man who changes his mind that often.

[...]Tthe instability of the club will make Pep think twice.

And Rafa Benítez, as we speak doing a talk in Abu Dhabi, has not got an offer from Chelsea or a call from them either.

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