Football Football

Benitez rubbishes City rumours


BENITEZ-CAGLIARINAPLES, April 23- Napoli head coach Rafael Benitez has rubbished rumours suggesting he’s made contact with Manchester City over a potential return to the Premier League.

The future of the former Liverpool and Chelsea boss has been the subject of much conjecture recently as he enters the final few months of his contract at the Stadio San Paolo.

Benitez won the Coppa Italia in his first season with the Naples outfit and secured Champions League football via their third-placed finish in Serie A a year ago.

But Partenopei have yet to offer the Spaniard a new deal and he has been linked with the City job, which could soon become vacant as Manuel Pellegrini faces increasing pressure to finish in the top four, having seen his side fail to defend their league title.

Benitez, though, insists there is no truth to the speculation that he is headed back to England, while stressing he remains committed to the Italian club, who are currently fourth in the league standings and competing for a place in the Europa League semi-finals.

“I have not had contact with City, unlike what I’ve read in England,” he told the local press.

“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.

“We can fight until the end for all of our aims. We can still qualify for the Champions league, whether it is by winning the Europa League or by finishing in the top three of Serie A.

“We all know how crucial qualification for the Champions League would be in terms of future investments.”