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

Y

ou spend £200 million in one year and you say 3 years to win the title, I don't think the Man U board signed you to win the title in 3 years after shelling out that sort of cash. Spending that sort of money you should be challenging for the title in this season, not getting an early excuse in to try appeasing the fans and board.

chelseablue_no1
Van Gaal has lofty ambitions

E

verything looks pretty when, for a short while, the sun shines through the dark clouds. For a brief moment you can forget about your last tonking or the many more to come.

godzilla
Van Gaal welcomes 'new start'

I

guess Storey was able to cancel his planned trip to the shops this weekend. He won't need to buy any food for a while because he's really dining out on those Angel/angel puns. It's going to be a long season.

ted, manchester
Forget Falcao, United Loving Angel Instead

Footer 365

Rio: Moyes' tactics 'embarrassing'

Rio Ferdinand says David Moyes created a "negative vibe" during his Manchester United reign and labelled the Scot's tactics as "embarrassing".

Premier League: Chelsea striker Diego Costa knows goals will dry up

Chelsea striker Diego Costa has paid tribute to his team-mates for his flying start, but concedes his goals will dry up.

Premier League: Steve Bruce feels Hatem Ben Arfa will bounce back with Hull City

Steve Bruce is confident he can bring the best of out of Hatem Ben Arfa after bringing him to Hull City on deadline day.

Mail Box

Fixing The Mess At Old Trafford

Plenty of conclusions on United's win over QPR and their missing link(s), more Ozil frustration, how Liverpool are like lasagne, as well as a word on Diego Costa's temperament...

A Lousy Day At The Office For Liverpool

We have some excellent thoughts on Arsenal's draw and Liverpool's woeful loss, plus praise for Villa, Diego Costa, Philippe Senderos and the 'final' word on hitting the post...

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