Real Madrid vice president Eduardo Fernandez has indicated that Napoli boss Rafael Benitez will be the club’s new manager.
ESPN FC reports Fernandez let the move slip during a club event Saturday. Real Madrid fired Carlo Ancelotti last week after he signed with the club in June 2013, and Benitez has said he will leave Napoli after their Serie A finale against Lazio Sunday night.
“I’ll tell you one thing, Carlo Ancelotti is a real phenomenon. We give our thanks to him,” Fernandez said.
“Until three days ago, he was, for me, the best coach in the world, just as two years ago it was Jose Mourinho, and as from this week it will be Rafa Benitez.”
Benitez, 55, was born in Madrid and has been a manager since 1993. Before joining Napoli in 2013, he was the interim manager for Chelsea after a year with Inter Milan in 2010. He previously managed Liverpool from 2004 to 2010, winning the UEFA Champions League in 2005, and also led Valencia to two Primera Division titles and a UEFA Cup championship.
Benitez also was a Real Madrid youth coach from 1993 to 1995.
Although Ancelotti signed a three-year deal with Real Madrid in June 2013 and won the Champions League and Copa del Rey in 2014, Madrid failed to win any major trophies this season. The club finished second in La Liga and was eliminated from the Champions League in the semifinals by Juventus.