Rafa eyes Michael Essien.
Former Chelsea boss Rafa Benitez will turn his attentions to Michael Essien after being rebuffed in a move for Jon Obi Mikel, according to The Sun (£).
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The Spaniard, now in charge of Serie A outfit Napoli, wants to add an imposing midfielder to his squad this month and has also been linked with Tottenham’s Etienne Capoue.
Benitez has enquired about Mikel’s availability but his successor at Stamford Bridge, Jose Mourinho, regards the Nigerian as a key member of his squad despite the arrival of Nemanja Matic on Wednesday.
As an alternative, Napoli will now target Essien, 31, who has been told he can leave after making just two starts this term.
The Ghanian is also wanted by Napoli’s rivals AC Milan, who are attracted to the midfielder because he was not registered in the Blues’ Champions League squad and is therefore eligible to play in the latter stages of the competition.
But Napoli believe their high-standing in the Serie A will give them the edge over floundering Milan.