NEWS
Tuesday July 29 2014
Benitez: No Callejon, Behrami cases

Rafa Benitez plays down issues involving Jose Callejon and Valon Behrami and asserts only 10 per cent of the names linked to Napoli are true.

The Vesuviani close out their pre-season training camp at Dimaro on Tuesday amid reports on both Callejon and Behrami’s early exits from consecutive sessions on Sunday.

With the latter also absent from Monday evening’s friendly, the suggestion has been of an exit on the horizon.

“I have heard that many have spoken about a case with Behrami and with Callejon - there is no news, you have wanted to create a bit of a mess,” Benitez has countered today to reporters.

“Behrami left with my authorisation, we had so many midfielders I told him he could stay on the side or he could leave, so he took off his bib.

“Callejon is a player who I wanted at Napoli, he lacked just a little intensity, but it is nothing serious. An important offer did arrive for him [reportedly from Atletico Madrid] but we said no.

“But there is no case. It’s amazing, there is no case, really incredible.

“My experience here [at Dimaro] was good, I liked the organisation, to see the fans closer to each workout.

“Footballing wise we did the job we wanted, I saw the players as tired but doing what I wanted them to do. Yesterday we saw Gargano, Dumitru, Vargas, Koulibaly and Michu manage significant minutes, everything is positive.”

Benitez was once more asked for comment on the transfer market.

“The market is long, there is still a month and many names will come out. About 10 per cent of those names are real.

“I was talking with Mascherano, but also there was talk of agreements, figures, but it was not so. I like him, but I also like Kim Basinger.

“We are patient, there are no problems, [sporting director Riccardo] Bigon is in contact with me.

“We will have to buy the player most suited to the mentality of our game.

“Is this a title-challenging squad? The squad is strong, it can be stronger if Zuniga, Mesto,  Maggio and Hamsik return to their level which was missing last year.

“Hamsik? I have seen him as very well during this period. Marek understands that he must always be one step ahead of his teammates.

“He has noticed what I want to do in the field during games, it is positive.”

Michu and Kalidou Koulibaly are new arrivals to the squad this summer.

“Michu has scored many goals playing in multiple roles, now he only needs to know more about his teammates and our play.

“Koulibaly has surprised me, he is attentive in the field, he already knows Italian. His acclimatisation will be faster.

“I am looking forward to the return of Higuain. He should be with us again on August 4, but I think he may be here on the 2nd because he cannot wait to start the new season.”

Napoli now know their fixture run for Serie A after the 38 rounds for 2014-15 were drawn on Monday.

“I have not had time to think about that, right now my priority is the Champions League preliminaries. I say to our fans to do as we are doing, which is to think of one game at a time.”