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Rafael Benitez’s Napoli nightmare takes a new twist as press interviews are cancelled

Napoli boss Rafael Benitez has not attended his pre-match press conference and all media activity around the club has been cancelled as the saga surrounding the Serie A club rumbles on.

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The former Liverpool and Chelsea manager had been due to face journalists ahead of tomorrow’s home clash with Fiorentina, where he was sure to be grilled about his future at the club following four successive away defeats and two points from five top-flight fixtures.

However, according to SportMediaset, Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has implemented radio silence due to his anger at what he perceives to be misleading press reports about the players’ lifestyles, which he described in a statement as “gossip devoid of all foundation”.

It comes just 24 hours before tomorrow’s crucial clash with the Viola, with both sides still aiming to secure Champions League qualification. Fiorentina are in better league form than their opponents, but go into the clash on the back of a bruising Coppa Italia semi-final defeat to Juventus.

Fiorentina occupy fourth position in the table, two points ahead of Benitez’s team as the sides enter the business end of the campaign with a place in Europe’s top club competition still up for grabs.

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