Rafa Benítez confirms interest in Álvaro Arbeloa

Jasper Juinen

The defender played under Rafa Benítez at Liverpool, and now the new Napoli coach is keen to tempt him away from Real Madrid.

In an interview printed in Cadena Ser, Rafa Benítez confirmed Napoli's interest in Álvaro Arbeloa.* Apparently raiding Real Madrid for José Callejón, Raúl Albiol, and Gonzalo Higuaín just wasn't enough to quench Rafa's appetite, and now Napoli are going back for more, in the form of a thirty year old right back.

Of course, Benítez is familiar with Arbeloa's work from the time they shared together at Liverpool, where he played for a season and a half before he returned to Real Madrid. With Napoli short about 12 decent defenders, it makes sense for Rafa to pursue Arbeloa -- particularly since he's already played in front of new goalkeeper Pepe Reina. And with something like €60m left for Napoli to spend during the transfer window, Arbeloa's €12m price tag doesn't seem that high.

*Note, if you're like me and haven't used your Spanish in ten years, the headline makes it appear as though Rafa is interested in both Arbeloa and Coentrão, but the question later shows it's just Arbeloa. I believe. I could also have completely forgotten how to translate from Spanish to English.

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