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

More of the games that matter

2 years free Sky Broadband Unlimited for Sky Sports customers

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."

More of the games that matter

2 years free Sky Broadband Unlimited for Sky Sports customers

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

S

ome of these are quality! Why you no like him F365?? :(

left right out
The, Erm, 'Best' Of Henry James Redknapp

W

e're our own worst enemy. We're suicidal in defence, and we may just get slaughtered on Sunday. Other than that, I am very pleased with my team.

bob the manc
Van Gaal: We can catch Chelsea

B

alotelli would've scored if the goals height was 3 times higher too...

footyfan52
Rodgers defends Balotelli

Footer 365

Sky Bet League One: Bristol City held, by Bradford City Peterborough lose at Crewe

Bristol City were held by Bradford, but the 2-2 draw saw the Robins set a new club record for league games unbeaten.

Derby go top, Forest draw at Watford

Chris Martin's 81st-minute penalty sent Derby to the top of the league after the Rams grabbed a 1-0 win over Blackpool.

Champions League: Schalke leave it late to beat Sporting Lisbon 4-3

Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting scored a 92nd-minute penalty to earn Schalke a 4-3 win over Sporting Lisbon in Group G.

Mail Box

Are There Any Happy Fans Out There?

It seems as if Chelsea, West Ham and Southampton are the only content supporters right now. We have more doom and gloom for you. Who wants good news, eh..?

Is Van Gaal Just A Dutch Pardew?

A Mailbox of comparisons. Van Gaal is similar to Pardew, Wenger to Moyes, Van Persie to a spent force, and Pelle to a bloody gent. There's also plenty from last night...

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