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Rafa Benítez now ahead on Real Madrid's shortlist for coaching spot?

Gianluca Di Marzio says Benítez refused to join West Ham because there's real interest from Real Madrid in his talents.

Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

Rafael Benítez is most likely going to leave Napoli after the end of the season. His two-year tenure with the Italian club hasn't gone as well as expected and, apparently, Benítez was set to return to the Premier League and join West Ham. However, things have changed quickly, as transfer guru Gianluca Di Marzio reported yesterday that Real Madrid are very interested in replacing Carlo Ancelotti with Rafa Benítez.

Di Marzio is the Italian journalist who first reported that Pep Guardiola was going to sign for Bayern Munich when the Spanish coach was still in New York. Di Marzio obviously misses some rumors too, as many Italians do with their Calciomercato, but he is a reliable source.

Benítez is also rumored to be on Real's shortlist in some Spanish outlets like ABC, and this seems to be a fight between Klopp and Benítez if Real Madrid finally decide to get rid of Carlo Ancelotti this summer.

Napoli's Spanish manager had reached an agreement in principle with West Ham United for next season, but this morning scenarios changed quickly: Benitez has had a direct contact with Hammer's chairman and he has declined the offer of the English club because... because Real Madrid is strongly interested in him. Yes.

Liverpool (which has contacted Klopp too in case they decide to change manager) and Manchester City have tried some indirect contacts, but Real is ahead in negotiations. The negotiation between the parts is advanced, the contacts are continuing: and so Rafa Benitez is Ancelotti's successor? Real Madrid's chairman, Florentino Perez, is seriously thinking about him, he's ready to make a revolution after this season.

Gianluca Di Marzio

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