Napoli boss Benitez downplays moves for Chelsea pair Mata and Luiz

Napoli manager Rafael Benitez has dismissed speculation he is to approach to his former club, Chelsea, to sign Juan Mata and David Luiz, Sky Sports has reported.

Benitez spent the second half of last season at Stamford Bridge, replacing Roberto Di Matteo in November 2012, and left the club in the summer having delivered a Champions League place and victory in the Europa League. His replacement, Jose Mourinho, has called on Mata only 17 times despite the Spain international being the two-time club Player of the Year.

Brazil international Luiz has also been unable to nail down a regular place in Mourinho’s side but Benitez insists he will not be making additions to his Napoli squad this month, also ruling out a move for Barcelona Javier Mascherano, whom he worked with at Liverpool. “I read in the papers that we are close to a deal for Mascherano, David Luiz and Mata, but that is not true,” Benitez said.

It is very difficult to get players like that. On most of the players linked with Napoli, there isn’t a real interest from us,” the former Inter boss continued.

At Christmas I watched the Premier League and I didn’t see any players at (Raul) Albiol’s level. And there are few players in the market stronger than (Miguel) Britos and (Federico) Fernandez.

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