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Napoli play down comments regarding ex-Chelsea, Liverpool boss Benitez

Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has backtracked on comments suggesting that Rafael Benitez was set to be unveiled as the clubs new manager.

De Laurentiis said that the Spaniard, who recently finished an interim spell at Chelsea, had agreed a two-year deal with the Naples outfit but he has since recoiled on that by saying the club cannot yet confirm its replacement for new inter Milan boss Walter Mazzarri.

"I've closed the negotiations for the new coach, but I can't officially announce it until I get permission from the other club with which he's under contract until June 30th," De Laurentiis told reporters.

"I met in the hall of my hotel here in London a group of people who I have known for many years and I told them, 'I got myself a gift', but I don't name names.

"It could be (Manuel) Pellegrini, Benitez, (Laurent) Blanc, (Jupp) Heynckes or someone we know who is looking for a bench for the future.

"Unfortunately, I can't say due to UEFA's rules, because I am waiting for the club who has him under contract to give us permission to announce it."

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