Friday January 2 2015
‘Napoli don't need Lavezzi, Balotelli’

Aurelio De Laurentiis dismisses rumours linking Napoli to Ezequiel Lavezzi and Mario Balotelli, and hopes that Rafa Benitez will stay to provide ‘continuity’.

The Partenopei have recently been paired with interest in bringing their former Argentine winger back to the San Paolo, whilst rumours continue over his relationship with current side Paris Saint-Germain.

Balotelli has also been continually linked with a return to Serie A, with Napoli a suggested destination, amid his uncertainty at Liverpool.

However, on the subject of both, the Vesuviani’s President De Laurentiis has made himself clear.

“What would be the use of buying them?” asked the cinema mogul in an interview with Il Mattino. “We're fully covered in attack, and in a few months we're getting [Lorenzo] Insigne back too.

“Let's not forget that Lavezzi makes €4.5m a year and, above all else, that he was the one who wanted to leave Napoli in the first place.

“He made that decision in 2011, when we asked him to stay for another year. But in 2012 he moved to Paris Saint-Germain.

“Sometimes the agents of the players amuse themselves by mentioning our names, but we have nothing to do with Lavezzi nor with Balotelli.”

Napoli Coach Benitez continues to be rumoured as on his way out of the club in the summer, at the expiry of his contract, but De Laurentiis hopes to see him with the Napoli colours for a long time yet.

“I hope he will stay with us because giving continuity to a club's technical project represents the best solution. We'll know everything a few months from now.

“But one thing is certain – the international mentality that I wanted to propose by giving the club to Benitez is not going to change, we will continue along this line, which has now turned into one of our principles.

“Benitez had asked us to cover two roles. We purchased [Ivan] Strinic because [Faouzi] Ghoulam is busy at the Africa Cup of Nations.

“While [Manolo] Gabbiadini, who can play as first or second striker indistinctly, came in after Insigne's injury.

“Gabbiadini is 23 years old, he isn't just a patch after Insigne's injury but an investment for the future.”

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