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Albiol to stay "no matter what happens" to Benitez

Napoli's Spanish defender is determined to stay with Napoli no matter what happens to the manager that brought him to the club.

Paolo Bruno

With all the calls for Rafa Benitez to be fired recently, and the manager's job still not completely safe even after this weekend's huge win against Roma, there's been a lot of speculation as to what would happen to some of the players he brought in if he does wind up being fired. There's already been talk off and on since the summer about links between Jose Callejon and Atletico Madrid, but of late the speculation has had another target.

Raul Albiol got off to a magnificent start to his Napoli career, but at the end of last season fatigue started to take its toll. This season, fans expected to see more good things from Albiol, but instead he's struggled mightily, prone to fits of showing no positional sense at all. Between that and all the doubts as to Rafa's job security over the last two months, many have speculated recently that should Benitez be shown the door, Albiol might not be far behind.

Not so, says Miguel Albiol, Raul's brother and agent. "What I do know is that my brother wants to stay in Naples, regardless of the Coach," Miguel told Radio CRC. "He feels at home there and for this reason there’s no discussion over this future - he wants Napoli.

"Raul is focused and he is in love with the city," Albiol's brother went on to add. "Today, after two seasons, he is very happy with the choice he has made and his next target is to win something important with Napoli."

Struggles or no (Miguel refused to acknowledge that his brother has had issues this season, calling Raul's form "excellent"), Albiol's experience and veteran edge is still a good thing to have around. Should Albiol be able to continue the improved form he showed against Roam this weekend, there should really be no question about whether or not to keep him around. He has been and should continue to be a vital part of this Napoli side. Unless a shockingly high offer comes along for him, Albiol's value to this team far outstrips a modest transfer fee.