Benitez: We are only focused on the Supercoppa; not thinking about January transfers
Napoli coach Rafael Benitez shrugged off talk about his team’s January transfer targets, instead making it clear that the Partenopei are only thinking about Monday’s Supercoppa Italiana clash against Juventus in Doha.
In a press conference at the Al-Sadd Stadium on Sunday night, Benitez was asked by Sportskeeda to comment on transfer rumours revolving around a Mario Balotelli loan deal to Napoli. It was a question which elicited quite a few chuckles in the hall, including from Napoli’s eccentric President and film producer Aurelio De Laurentiis.
English media had earlier reported that Napoli were looking to sign Mario Balotelli on loan from Liverpool, with the Reds hoping to replace him with former striker Fernando Torres. Benitez smiled but however, refused to comment on the veracity of these reports, saying: “I do not wish to talk about the market. We are only focused on this match. There is plenty of time. We will analyze the market later and then we’ll decide.”
With regards to the Supercoppa, Benitez was full of optimism about his side’s chances. “Juventus may be ahead of us in the Serie A but we this is a one-off match. We have the will to win and we are confident in our abilities,” he said. “We know, in our hearts and minds, what our fans want.”
When asked if striker Gonzalo Higuain would start, Benitez said that he hadn’t decided on the lineup. “All the players are good and deserve to play. It’s not just the coach who decides on the team but it also depends on the players’ mental and physical readiness to play.”
Serie A defending champions Juventus and Coppa Italia holders Napoli will square off on Monday night for the Supercoppa Italiana at 17:30 GMT (23:00 IST).