Media outlets and Twitter were abuzz Monday when reports emerged that Rafa Benitez had a meeting with Aurelio De Laurentiis to discuss the Napoli manager's future. There was a lot of assumption that a contract extension for the manager was being discussed, but the more likely topic was the "talks of future plans" that Benitez has alluded to recently.
After assumptions flew Tuesday morning about what went on, good or ill, for several hours, Rafa's agent got on Radio CRC and threw cold water on the whole thing: "I can say that it’s a lie that Benitez met with De Laurentiis yesterday."
So much for that!
The agent, Manuel Garcia Quilon, said that he intends to keep working with Napoli on a new deal for as long as possible, but between contractual preferences and the rapidly-deteriorating relationship between Benitez and De Laurentiis, there's really no way that Benitez will still be with Napoli next season.
How things move on from here is a bit of a mystery, but expect there to be varying reports about meetings and calls and conversations between Rafa and De Laurentiis between now and the end of the season. Not all of them will be true -- in fact, it's likely that most of them won't be -- but we'll hear about them all the same. Just as long as things don't get any uglier than they have been, we'll be OK, but Rafa has a history of lashing out nastily at owners he doesn't agree with. It's easily possible that things will get nasty by the time it's all said and done.