We talked recently about how it's starting to look more and more like Rafa Benitez is about to leave Napoli. He's been noticeably non-committal about returning for months in interviews, then he rejected a recent contract offer. Today, the signs are even worse.
In an interview today, Benitez was asked again about the potential of managing Paris Saint-Germain, as the French side are likely to part ways with Laurent Blanc at the end of the season. Unlike previous chats on the subject, Benitez was curiously open about the subject.
Today I’m in Naples and I’m concentrated on Napoli. But in the future I can’t predict what will happen. In the past I’ve coached in Spain, England and Italy.
I think Ligue 1 is full of good players, who are very fast and well coached in a technical sense. However, the mastery of tactics is less developed than in Serie A, and the tempo is slower than the Premier League.
I’d have no problem embracing a new adventure in a new league. There’d have to be the right offer, at the right time, with the right team.
-Source: Football Italia
The emphasis is ours, and it's probably the surest sign yet that Rafa is leaving. While he didn't talk directly about PSG, he talked about what coaching in France would be like to a much more detailed degree than we've seen so far. He's clearly interested, and made it very clear that if PSG come with a good enough offer, he'll be signing in a hurry.
If they haven't already, it's time for Napoli to start putting together a shortlist of who will replace Rafa. He's not coming back next season.