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Report: Rafa Benitez will leave Napoli at the end of the season

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This isn't actually surprising, but now we've got big Italian papers backing the belief that Napoli's manager is on his way out.

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At this point, the report from La Gazzetta dello Sport is almost anti-climactic. It's become so expected to hear that you almost don't even hear it when it's said. That doesn't change that now this is something that's moving from speculation to legitimate reports, and perhaps soon to fact not long after: Rafa Benitez is leaving Napoli.

La Gazzetta is saying as much in their morning edition, reporting that Benitez and Napoli will "divorce" at season's end when the Spaniard's contract expires. "The farewell will be sad and unenthusiastic," the paper says, but it is coming.

The report indicates that Benitez will be heading back to England so he can be near his family in Liverpool. While it currently looks unlikely that his old job at Anfield will be available, La Gazzetta is putting themselves on the "Manchester City want Rafa" bandwagon, but also indicate that City won't be the only English team who want to bring him in.

With Rafa leaving and Napoli's ability to earn a Champions League place looking increasingly tenuous, one also has to wonder about Napoli's ability to hold on to some of the club's core players, like Gonzalo Higuain and Jose Callejon. Without the man who brought them to the club or Champions League football, keeping them will be very difficult, and replacing them could be harder without the lure of Europe's top club competition. For that matter, no Champions League would also make recruiting another top manager very difficult.

This is shaping up to be a very trying summer.