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Rafael Benitez: I didn't turn down offer to return to Liverpool

Rafael Benitez has shot down reports that he spurned the opportunity to return to Liverpool this month.

Things haven’t exactly been rosy for Napoli this season, nor have they been for Partenopei boss Rafael Benitez’s former club Liverpool.

The Spaniard’s side absorbed a major blow in August by bowing out of the Champions League in the play-off round, before even kicking a ball in Serie A.

Napoli followed this up by struggling through the early days of the league campaign, winning just once through the first four matches on the fixture list.

Meanwhile on Merseyside, Liverpool have gotten off to a sputtering start under Brendan Rodgers, currently sitting in the bottom half of the Premier League table with 21 points.

Murmurings have suggested that the Reds could respond by making a move to bring Benitez back to Anfield to replace Rodgers in a dramatic turn.

Benitez’s future at Napoli has been in doubt for some time considering relatively poor results and an inability to agree an extension on his contract, which expires in June.

On Wednesday the ex-Liverpool boss said he was firmly focused on Napoli, however, revealing that he had turned down two unnamed offers over the past two weeks.

La Gazzetta dello Sport subsequently claimed that it was Liverpool and Valencia who had attempted to bring in Benitez, but the Partenopei head coach has now refuted the report.

Benitez told a press conference after Napoli’s 2-0 win over Parma on Thursday: “The two clubs I saw reported in the paper were not true.

“It’s not easy to be serious and professional in football, but if they don’t give me permission to reveal the names, the I won’t.

“I can say that one was a club side and the other was a national team.”

With the victory over the Ducali, Benitez’s Napoli provisionally have moved into the top three in Serie A, relieving some of the pressure on the Spaniard in southern Italy.

As for Liverpool, it appears the Reds did not indeed move to swap Rodgers for their former Champions League-winning manager, who still has plenty of admirers on Merseyside.

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