Wednesday August 6 2014
Benitez: 'Napoli project for Fellaini'

Rafa Benitez insisted “the project, not Louis van Gaal” will influence Marouane Fellaini’s move to Napoli.

There have been strong reports Fellaini is waiting for a face-to-face meeting with the new Manchester United manager before deciding whether to make the loan switch to Naples.

After a 1-0 friendly win over Barcelona this evening, Benitez was asked why Javier Mascherano hadn’t made the same move.

“It didn’t depend on the Coach, but on the project. That will be the case with Fellaini too: van Gaal has nothing to do with it,” replied Benitez.

That would suggest Napoli are waiting for Fellaini to request a transfer rather than for van Gaal to give the all-clear.

Benitez also joked with Sport Mediaset when asked if Fellaini was close: "Is he? I don't see him..."

“When I talk about revenue and wages, I am referring to the ability to construct a strong squad. Our squad is strong, but clearly we are still missing something.

“We must continue to form a strong group to recover the lost ground from Juventus and Roma.”

Blerim Dzemaili scored the winning goal against Barcelona, but is expected to leave Napoli for Milan this summer.

“All of our players are talented. The issue is we need to find players on the market who are able to further improve an already strong squad.

“It is not easy to face a great side like Barcelona, but we had the right approach. We have the players back from the World Cup and it became immediately obvious we became more dangerous with them in the side. These are quality players and they proved it straight away.

"Gonzalo Higuain seemed a little tired to me, so I preferred not to risk him. He'll be ready for the Champions League play-off, though I'm not sure if it'll be from the start."