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Football | Italy

Rafael Benitez © Action Images

Napoli in London to meet Benitez



Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis was in London on Monday to meet Rafael Benitez in a bid to lure Chelsea's Spanish manager to the Serie A club, according to reports in Italy.

Napoli's runner-up place to Juventus was confirmed when the season ended on Sunday, meaning the Neapolitans have qualified for next season's Champions League.

Napoli's need to find a new coach is pressing as Walter Mazzarri confirmed on Sunday his departure from the club.

"My cycle at Napoli has come to an end. I need a change of scene," Mazzarri, who has been tipped to replace Aurelio Andreazzoli at Roma, said after Napoli's 2-1 defeat to the Giallorossi.

Several reports in Italy said De Laurentiis was accompanied by the club's sporting director Riccardo Bigon and another official, Andrea Chiavelli, on the trip.

Former Liverpool manager Benitez has already coached in Italy, taking over from Jose Mourinho after the Portuguese led Inter Milan to a treble of league, Cup and Champions League.

After signing a two-year deal, Benitez steered the Nerazzurri to victory in the Italian Super Cup and Club World Cup but a run of poor results in the league left his position fragile and after seeing his request for new players turned down he was eventually sacked in December.

Benitez took over at Chelsea last November following the sacking of Roberto di Matteo and led the defending Champions League winners to victory in the Europa League final over Benfica.

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