Reports: Napoli will announce Rafa Benitez departure Thursday; Headed for Real Madrid

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Napoli has called a joint press conference on Thursday, and the Serie A side is expected to announce that manager Rafa Benitez will not be returning as manager after the season ends Sunday.

Multiple reports say that Benitez will be named Real Madrid manager. The 55-year-old boss is from Madrid, and played for and later managed Real Madrid Castilla.

Benitez has been linked to West Ham, though this job is a bit of a step up.

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Napoli finished fourth in Serie A, and made it to the Europa League semifinal before being bounced by Dnipro.

According to the BBC, “The former Liverpool manager, 55, has not yet signed a contract with the 10-time European champions but negotiations are at an advanced stage.”

Benitez has been well-decorated as a manager, winning a pair of La Liga titles with Valencia, the UEFA Champions League with Liverpool, and UEFA Cups with Valencia and Chelsea. He’s a two-time UEFA Manager of the Year, and lead a pair of Segunda clubs to promotion to La Liga.

It’s not an upgrade at Real, but Benitez can certainly do a job for the club. Still, for a while we’ll be asking why Carlo Ancelotti didn’t fit the bill.