Napoli call Benitez press conference

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Rome:  Napoli coach Rafael Benitez will hold a news conference on Thursday amid speculation that the Spaniard is set to take over at Real Madrid, the Italian club announced on Tuesday.

Napoli said the news conference would be held jointly with club president Aurelio De Laurentiis. Spanish media have made former Liverpool, Inter Milan and Chelsea coach Benitez the favourite to replace Carlo Ancelotti, who was fired by Real Madrid on Monday. Benitez, whose contract runs to the end of the season, has had mixed fortunes during his two seasons with Napoli.

They won the Coppa Italia last term and finished third in Serie A but have failed to build on that. They started this campaign by losing a Champions League qualifier to Athletic Bilbao and missed out on the lucrative group stage.

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They were beaten in the semi-finals of the Coppa Italia and Europa League and are fourth in Serie A. Napoli must beat third-placed Lazio in their final Serie A game on Sunday to earn a place in next season`s Champions League playoff round.