Well, so much for those rumors: the agent of Napoli defender Henrique spoke to the press tonight in the wake of increasing transfer speculation, and made a pretty firm commitment to his client staying in Italy for the rest of the season.
"There will be no transfer to Cruzeiro or Sao Paulo or Internacional or any other club," said Nalor Malaquais. "Benitez will rely on Henrique until the end of the season."
Of course, Benitez "relying" on Henrique is an amusing thought. The Brazilian hasn't exactly been a sensation when he's played this season, though he does provide value as a reserve option for the partenopei. Holding on to him for now and selling him in the summer when it would be easier to replace him is a perfectly sensible course of action.
It's almost been a shame that Henrique has worked out so poorly. He had significant promise as a defender once, proving sufficiently interesting that Barcelona signed him, but it's been all downhill from there. After failing his way out of Europe, Henrique had regained some semblance of decency after a move back to Brazil. His transfer to Napoli a year ago was supposed to be his big break on his way back to being relevant, but alas, things have not gone according to plan.
Hopefully Henrique can improve his quality of play for Napoli down the stretch of the season, and use that to help him find a club that fits him better in the summer. It's a shame that fit couldn't come at Napoli, but it certainly seems as though the fit just isn't there in the long term.