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Napoli Hire Rafa

Rafa-Europa-trophyNapoli President Aurelio De Laurentiis has confirmed that Rafa Benitez will become the clubs next coach.

Rafa has been the hot favourite to succeed Walter Mazzarri for a few weeks now, and the Partenopei owner has revealed this afternoon that the Spanish tactician will take over for next season.

“I’ve given myself a birthday gift – I’ve signed Benitez” De Laurentiis told reporters.

“I’ll make it official in the next few days, as Benitez needs to end things with Chelsea. He’ll have a two-year contract, no longer. We need to get to know each other first, then we’ll see.”

Napoli manager Walter Mazzarri announced his resignation following a 2-1 loss to Roma earlier this week.

This is a good move for Rafa who impressed many with the ways he navigated the waters at Chelsea this season, winning the Europa League and qualifying for the Champions League next season.

He inherits a Napoli side that finished second in Serie A this season, behind Juventus and a owner that wants to win the Serie A and the Champions League. The latter is a big reach, but closing the gap to Juve, is very possible.

Rafa’s first major decision will be what to do with Edinson Cavani. The striker, who was the top goalscorer in Serie A this season with 26 goals, has been linked with a big money move to Manchester City and Chelsea.

Losing a player like Cavani will be tough, but the €50m+ that he will bring could be reinvested in the three or four players that Napoli need if they are to compete with Juve and AC Milan for the Serie A title next season.