Napoli boss Rafa Benitez eyes Manchester City’s Gareth Barry
Rafa Benitez is set to continue his attempt to build a decent Premier League side circa 2008 at new club Napoli with a bid for Manchester City midfielder Gareth Barry.
Former Liverpool boss Benitez has already signed Pepe Reina on a year-long loan deal and yesterday he was linked with a move for Reds defender Martin Skrtel.
Now the Italian media are linking him with a player he desperately wanted to join him at Anfield in the summer of 2008. He eventually lost out to Manchester City back then, but is now interested in taking the 32-year-old to Italy.
Barry has never really won over City fans and his form dropped off considerably last season. It’s difficult to imagine Manuel Pellegrini putting much faith in a player often bemoaned for being slow and careless in possession, so a move to Napoli could suit all parties.
The former Aston Villa man is out of contract at the end of the season and went public last weekend to say that the club had not spoken to him about a new deal.
He told the Sunday Mirror: “I haven’t heard anything about a new deal from the club, so it looks as though my contract will run out next summer and I’ll have to take it from there.”
He added: “It’s just a case of wait and see, as far as a new contract is concerned.
“I haven’t heard anything about a new deal from the club, so it looks as though my contract will run out next summer and I’ll have to take it from there.
“The manager has spoken to me. He told me that he sees a place for me in his squad as he wants two quality players in every position.
“I’ve got to admit that, with Yaya Toure, Javi Garcia and now Fernandinho in the squad, it’s going to be tough for anyone to nail down a position in central midfield. I’m a bit disappointed that there’s been no offer, but I haven’t got myself too down about it.”
And there you have it: three player far more likely to play in a Pellegrini midfield as suggested by Barry himself.