Chelsea interim-manager Rafael Benitez set for return to Italy according to Napoli president

The Spaniard will sign a two-year deal according to the club's president
  • @simonrice

Rafael Benitez is to join Napoli on a two-year deal according to the Italian club's president.

With the Spaniard's spell as Chelsea interim-manager coming to an end, it was known that he was seeking new employment for next season.

Benitez made it clear he had hoped to remain in England, but with a lack of viable options for the Champions League winning coach, it would appear he will return to Italy, where he had a short and unsuccessful spell with Inter Milan.

Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis is reported to have said: "I've given myself a birthday gift, I've signed Benitez.

"I'll make it official in the next few days as Benitez needs to end things with Chelsea.

"He'll have a two-year contract, no longer. We need to get to know each other first, then we’ll see."

In recent days Benitez, who is currently with Chelsea on their post-season tour of the United States, had been linked with the vacancy at Stoke, although that always seemed unrealistic considering the Spaniard's credentials.

In his short stint at Chelsea, he led the club to Europa League glory as well as securing a third-place finish in the Premier League and with it qualification for next season's Champions League. Also on Benitez's CV is a Champions League title with Liverpool, a Uefa Cup with Valencia and two La Liga titles with the Spanish side.

His previous spell in Italy came between June and December 2010, but succeeding Jose Mourinho at a club that had won the treble the previous year proved unworkable, despite lifting the Fifa Club World Cup shortly after his arrival.