Napoli President Aurelio De Laurentiis confirms he’s spoken with Coach Rafa Benitez about a new contract.
It was reported earlier this week that the pair had met to discuss a new deal for the Spaniard, whose current contract expires at the end of the season.
“There’s always been great respect and even friendship between myself and Benitez,” De Laurentiis informed Radio Kiss Kiss Napoli.
“All the things I’ve read just make me smile. It’s true that I met him on Monday, and we were alone. It was a meeting to clarify the circumstances for the important matches we have coming up.
“I read in the newspapers that the Spaniard was waiting for news about the stadium and facilities.
“I told him that we’ve already started talking about San Paolo with the architects of Juventus Stadium, if all goes well and the city council doesn’t delay things, we’ll deliver the project on May 31.
“On March 1 next year we could start work. Napoli are second to none, and, for me, Benitez is a great Coach who can take us forward.
“We’ll give the people of Naples a stadium deserving of the name, without moving from San Paolo.
“If Benitez stays, I’ll be the happiest man in the world, if not we’ll find someone else.
“I’ve told Benitez he can stay for another year, or another five. Perhaps a good solution would be for his family [who live in England] to live in Rome, which is just two hours from Naples.
“If he wants to stay for another five years that would make me happy, Benitez told me he’ll talk with his family and we’ll meet again on Saturday.”
The Partenopei patron also announced that full-back Christian Maggio will sign a new deal with the club.
“I met with [sporting director Riccardo] Bigon and we agreed the renewal for Christian Maggio for another three years.
“He has experienced a great journey with us, and this reciprocal gift is well-deserved.”
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