Report: Benitez is all in for Lucas

Lucas Leiva

Napoli boss Rafa Benitez is definite that he wants to sign Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva and will keep pushing for the transfer, reports in Italy insist.

Although negotiations for Lucas Leiva have become complicated and other targets have been mooted, Napoli coach Rafa Benitez reportedly remains determined to sign the Liverpool midfielder.

Napoli are looking to strengthen in front of their defence by adding a strong defensive midfielder to their ranks after that weakness proved costly on occasion last term.

A deal for Lyon Maxime Gonalons appeared certain on several occasions but ultimately fell through while hopes of luring Barcelona's Javier Mascherano were snuffed out.

Lucas emerged as a prime target given Benitez's past working relationship with the Brazilian and the arrival of Emre Can at Anfield.

The problem is that Napoli are looking for some form of loan while Liverpool so far appear to want a permanent deal or nothing.

While it has been suggested that Napoli may turn to Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder Granit Xhaka instead, Italian newspaper Il Mattino has reported that Benitez is certain he wants Lucas and will do whatever it takes to get him.

Benitez is said to have told the club's owner Aurelio De Laurentiis and sporting director Riccardo Bigon to focus all their efforts on Lucas rather than exploring other avenues.

As well as trying to persuade Liverpool to do a temporary deal, Napoli may struggle with the wage bill, which is above their usual threshold.

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