Napoli retain Balotelli hope

Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis would prefer to see Mario Balotelli partner Edinson Cavani at the San Paolo than consider selling his star striker to Manchester City.

Last Updated: 07/01/13 at 13:23 Post Comment

Mario Balotelli: Has been linked with Napoli

Mario Balotelli: Has been linked with Napoli

Bet £10 Get £30

Daily Offers And Promotions. Join Now & Bet £10 and Get a £30 Free Bet

The Uruguayan forward fired Napoli back into third place in the Serie A table courtesy of a fine hat-trick in a 4-1 win over Roma, furthering his reputation as the envy of a host of top European clubs by bringing up his 20th goal of the season.

De Laurentiis has admitted rejecting a 55million euro (£45million) offer for Cavani from an unnamed club in the summer but revealed the 25-year-old does have a 63million euro (£51million) release clause in his contract.

City striker Balotelli has been mentioned as a potential makeweight should the Barclays Premier League champions look to bolster their forward line with Cavani, but De Laurentiis has other ideas.

He told Gazzetta.it: "City are considering letting Balotelli go so they can move for Cavani? I would prefer to see Balotelli playing with Cavani here at Napoli.

"Teams tend to hold onto their best players in January. You take a big risk making big investments now.

"There is still time for us to bring in new faces but we must be cautious. On January 31 you will see what moves Napoli have made."

Napoli's comfortable victory over Roma, in which Christian Maggio rounded off the scoring following Pablo Osvaldo's late response, sees the Campanian outfit return to the title race after suffering an uncomfortable end to 2012.

Four straight defeats in all competitions and a two-point deduction for alleged involvement in match-fixing saw Walter Mazzarri's men drift 10 points shy of league leaders Juventus.

Sunday night's win, coupled with Juve's surprise home defeat to Sampdoria, sees Napoli close to within two points of second-placed Lazio.

De Laurentiis added: "Are Napoli back on track? I say we have 39 points, 10 more than we had this time last year, because I'm not counting the two they took off us as a punishment.

"I think we'll get those points back and hopefully we'll get another 10 points on the pitch soon. Other teams have had a bad round and we can think about taking advantage.

"Napoli will definitely fight right until the end."

Meanwhile, European hopefuls Roma were left empty-handed and shell-shocked after being undone by Cavani inside 70 minutes.

General manager Franco Baldini told Gazzetta.it: "Cavani was the difference, he won the game, not only with his goals but because he both defended and attacked.

"He's not a candidate for the Ballon d'Or, because he is a no-frills player, but he should be among them. He's truly world class in this league."

Bet £10 Get £30

Daily Offers And Promotions. Join Now & Bet £10 and Get a £30 Free Bet

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

O

K FIFA we're done, you can ban us now

jimmyjazz
Barcelona transfer ban upheld

A

h Daniel. I could spend hours on this subject putting the world to rights. You can even take a step back and ask why football fans (and society in general) have this need to know that something will happen before it actually does. There are times this important, when it comes to things like war, food production and natural disasters. A man you've never met changing his job? Not so much.

ajsr1982
Time To Burst The ITK Bubble

G

reat article. Hits the nail on the head. Encapsulates why I don't read tabloid newspapers anymore. The only thing worse is the 'told you so first' headline when they get lucky.

ianonabeach
Time To Burst The ITK Bubble

Footer 365

Transfer news: AC Milan yet to receive an offer from Liverpool for Mario Balotelli

AC Milan insist they have not received an offer from Liverpool for their controversial striker Mario Balotelli.

Transfer news: Marco Reus said to have turned down move to Manchester United

Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo has told Onda Cero that Marco Reus rejected a move to Man Utd this summer.

Transfer News: Swansea complete deal for Napoli defender Federico Fernandez

Swansea City have signed defender Federico Fernandez from Napoli for an undisclosed fee.

Mail Box

So Long And Good Luck To Nani

A Mailbox that offers best wishes to a departing hero, defends Olivier Giroud, tells us to steady on over Calum Chambers and makes some amusing predictions...

Mailbox: Feeling Sorry For Poor TC23

If there's one loser in all the machinations at Man United, it's poor TC23. We have mercifully few mails on United, but lots on Arsenal and in particular Olivier Giroud...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property