De Laurentiis has Balotelli hope

Aurelio De Laurentiis would prefer to see Mario Balotelli partner Edinson Cavani at Napoli than sell his star striker.

Last Updated: 07/01/13 at 11:03 Post Comment

Latest Articles

Transfer news: St Mirren sign former Derby County striker Callum Ball

Post comment

St Mirren have completed the signing of former Derby County striker Callum Ball on a one-year deal.

Transfer news: Borussia Dortmund star Marco Reus' agent admits interest

Post comment

Marco Reus' agent has admitted that most of Europe's top clubs are looking at the Borussia Dortmund star.

All Articles

Mario Balotelli: Has been linked with Na

Mario Balotelli: Has been linked with Na

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.

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."


Click here for completely free £10 bet with Sky Bet & £5 free every week


Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Footer 365

Transfer news: Gus Poyet confirms Sunderland talks with Liverpool striker Fabio Borini

Sunderland boss Gus Poyet has indicated a move for Fabio Borini could still be on after confirming talks with Liverpool.

Transfer news: Southampton midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin hands in transfer request

Southampton midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin has handed in a transfer request, according to Sky sources.

Van Gaal: 'I struggle for first three months'

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has hinted that it will take time for him to be successful at Old Trafford, claiming he may struggle for the first three months...

Mail Box

Mails Come From A Land Down Under

We have an example of league-owned clubs from Australia while Kiwi boys want more respect for refs. Plus, Van Gaal won't stick with 3-5-2 and worried if Koeman will cut it...

Youth Development Has To Be The Future

A varied Mailbox has thoughts on transfer targets, youth development, the obsession over 3-5-2, some innovative Blackpool suggestions and why Real bought Kroos...

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