In case you weren't awake at 9:45 CET on Saturday morning, Napoli decided to send hearts racing by sending out one of their "Comunicato ufficiale" bulletins. When clicking on the link, this is what came up:
Now, even those with not-so-great Italian know that headline means "Benítez to Liverpool." And when you haven't had enough coffee yet to remember that the Reds are quite satisfied with Brendan Rodgers, you wonder what the hell is going on.
Even if you have had enough coffee, your first reaction is that Rafa has left Napoli. And even if you don't care all that much for Rafa, the idea of a coach leaving after just one match isn't all that pleasing, particularly for a team that wants to make a challenge for the scudetto.
But what Napoli are saying is that the manager has headed to Liverpool for a few days, taking advantage of the international break to spend some time with family. He'll be back by Wednesday, to (hopefully) lead his side to victory over the dreadful Chievo in the season's first match at the Stadio San Paolo.
The real purpose of this official communication is to dispel the rumor, getting some traction in the Italian press, that Rafa has stormed away because he and Aurelio De Laurentiis are at odds. The idea that there's a rift between owner and manager is not only false, it's utterly ridiculous to suggest.
Of course, this is football, and usually when clubs take pains to announce a manager isn't leaving, that he and the club leadership are totally buddy-buddy, well...well it usually means the manager has one foot out the door.
Either way...talk about a misleading headline, Napoli. Please don't do that. Ever again.