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Swansea boss Monk in the dark over possible Michu return

Michu
Michu. Credit: PA

Swansea boss Garry Monk is unsure whether Michu will be returning to the club in January following reports in Italy that the Napoli loan signing was surplus to requirements at the Serie A club.

Michu, who scored 22 goals in his first campaign at Swansea before suffering an injury-hit season last term, has managed only three starts and five appearances for Napoli and failed to either complete 90 minutes or score for Rafael Benitez's side.

"I'm not sure contractually whether we could bring him back and we'd have to check fine lines before dealing with something like that," Monk said.

"I've not spoken to him recently but we'll see what the situation is and assess it from there."

Callejon closes on Napoli record

Napoli forward Jose Callejon will join Diego Maradona in the club's record books on Wednesday if he scores at Atalanta.

The Spaniard has found the back of the net in his team's last five league games and another goal in Bergamo would see him equal Maradona's mark of scoring in six straight league games, which he managed in the 1987-88 campaign.

Callejon, who joined Napoli from Real Madrid in 2013 and has scored 27 times in 65 appearances, has proved a lucky charm for Rafa Benitez's side.

Napoli have yet to lose a game when Callejon scores.

Athletic come back to progress

Athletic Bilbao came from behind to secure their place in the group stage of the Champions League with a 3-1 victory over Napoli.

After a 1-1 draw in the first leg, Napoli nosed in front when Marek Hamsik opened the scoring two minutes after half-time, firing in a low left-footed shot which found the net off the inside of the post.

But Athletic responded with three quickfire goals after the hour mark.

Aritz Arduiz bagged two of them, afforded plenty of time before firing in Markel Susaeta's 61st minute cross and then capitalising on a defensive mistake to put the ball beyond Rafael Cabral in the 69th minute.

Five minutes later, Ibai Gomez drilled in a third to see off the Italians.

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Benitez confident heading to Bilbao

Napoli coach Rafael Benitez remains confident his side can see off Athletic Bilbao to reach the group stages of the Champions League.

The Italians were held to a 1-1 draw by the Primera Division outfit on Tuesday evening in Naples and have left themselves with plenty to do in Spain.

Athletic will certainly go out there to win. This means they will want to score and so do we.

I have confidence but of course it will not be easy.

We saw the game I expected to see Considering the way the game went, we can consider our reaction positive and we must begin again from that.

– Rafa Benitez speaking to Gazzetta dello Sport

Napoli draw as Leverkusen play out thriller

Athletic Bilbao will have the upper hand back at San Mames after holding Napoli to a 1-1 Champions League play-off draw on Tuesday night.

The Primera Division and Serie A giants were pitted against each other in a battle to reach the group stages and Athletic took the initiative with Iker Muniain scoring four minutes before the break in Naples.

Napoli hit back after the interval as former Real Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuain fired a leveller on 68 minutes but the Basque outfit will fancy their chances of winning the second leg and progressing to the next stage.

There were five goals in the first half of action in the Danish capital as Bayer Leverkusen claimed a 3-2 win at FC Copenhagen.

Stefan Kiessling (five) and Zanka (nine) exchanged goals before Daniel Amartey nudged FCK ahead in the 13th minute.

Bayer equalised through Karim Bellarabi on 31 minutes and, three minutes before the break, Son Heung-min grabbed what proved to be the winner for the Bundesliga giants.

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