Rafa Benitez eyes ‘another Higuain’
Napoli coach Rafa Benitez has said his club's summer spending spree is not finished yet, with another big deal on the horizon.
The Partenopei have already reinvested the €64.5 million brought in by the sale of Edinson Cavani to Paris Saint Germain, signing Real Madrid trio Gonzalo Higuain, Raul Albiol and Jose Callejon as well as Dries Mertens, from PSV Eindhoven, and Pepe Reina on loan from Liverpool.
Club president Aurelio De Laurentiis had promised an additional €60 million in the transfer kitty - and Benitez said he intended to use that extra money to continue building a side that can challenge for the Serie A title and compete in the Champions League.
"We're looking for another attacker on the same level as Higuain," he told Cadena Ser. "We didn't really think there was any chance of getting him.
"There was a lot of talk of him going to Arsenal. A player like him, with his quality, can become the most important player here at Napoli."
And although Benitez ruled out returning to Madrid to move for either Fabio Coentrao or Alvaro Arbeloa, he did not deny rumours that Napoli were close to signing Martin Skrtel from Liverpool.
"We still have funds available," he said. "But I want to say for certain that we have no interest in buying Coentrao or Arbeloa. We will buy the players we are interested in, not those we don’t need."
Porto's Jackson Martinez remains Napoli's number one target, but Barcelona's former Udinese attacker Alexis Sanchez is emerging as a potential alternative.
Despite being Serie A's biggest spenders so far this summer, Napoli are in a healthy financial position - and Benitez believes they are building something big.
"We had the fortune of getting the money we got for Cavani to improve the structure of the club, the squad and the youth academy, and that is the idea we are working on," he added.
"Our club respects the financial fair play rules, and that's why I like this project. The money we earn from transfers is spent on the development and growth of this project."