West Ham lag behind big-spending Napoli in the race to land Seville coach Unai Emery

The Italians need a replacement for Rafa Benitez who has joined Real Madrid

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The Independent Online

Napoli believe they are destined to beat West Ham to the signature of Seville coach Unai Emery, by making a superior financial offer than the east London club as they seek a replacement for Rafael Benitez.

Napoli president Aurelio de Laurentiis flew to Madrid on Monday to meet Emery and, although the Premier League club offers far better infrastructure than Napoli, where Benitez began the job of developing a rudimentary training facility before he left, the film producer is ready to pay a substantial sum to secure the Spaniard to build on what the new Real Madrid coach has left behind at the Serie A club.

Napoli want to regain the Champions League status which saw them narrowly miss qualification for the knock-out stage under Benitez two seasons ago. It is thought they could offer Emery around £3million a year.

Emery is due in London this week to meet West Ham’s co-owners David Sullivan and David Gold, whose options have been limited following Real’s decision to hire Benitez. The challenge for West Ham is compounded by the fact that Seville – who desperately want to keep the coach who has guided them to successive Europa League triumphs – are ready to make him an improved offer. Contract discussions are understood to be under way at the Spanish club.

There is a view in Spain that Emery – who has barely any spoken English – would prefer to stay with the La Liga club for at least one more season. The attraction is enhanced by the prospect of Champions League football next season – a possibility for Seville as a reward for winning the Europa League if they can progress beyond a qualifying round. Other candidates to replace Sam Allardyce as West Ham manager are Marseilles’ Marcelo Bielsa, Slaven Bilic and Swansea City’s Garry Monk.

Meanwhile, Real Sociedad have quashed speculation that David Moyes will leave the club this summer and return to coaching in the Premier League. The former manager of Everton and Manchester United took the helm of Real Sociedad in November but has been linked with West Ham and Sunderland this summer.

Sociedad president Jokin Aperribay is unaware of any offers for the 52-year-old, who is under contract with the La Liga club until June 2016.

Aperribay said on his club’s official website: “Moyes has never spoken to us about this. If anything, we have heard these rumours from the media. He has never suggested the possibility to go back to England.”

The Basque club also played down the possibility of signing Burnley forward Danny Ings. “We have monitored him since the winter transfer market,” Aperribay said. “But we have not spoken to Ings’ entourage for almost a month now.

“I don’t think he’s an easy candidate to arrive to La Real. He has a lot of offers from England and we will have to wait to see what he decides. But it looks highly unlikely that he will join us.”

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