Napoli coach Rafael Benitez wanted to sign a Wolfsburg trio when he first took over at the Serie A club.
Ahead of the UEFA Europa League quarter-final first leg between the teams on Thursday, Benitez revealed he had his eye on several Wolfsburg players when he took charge at Napoli in May 2013.
Andre Schurrle, Ivan Perisic and Luiz Gustavo were all targets for Benitez, who was unable to sign any of that group.
“Wolfsburg are a great team,” Benitez told a news conference.
“When we started our work here we were planning to bring in players like Andre Schurrle, Ivan Perisic and Luiz Gustavo.
“We were very interested in these players but there was nothing we could do. They would have been good for the team in terms of a more physical approach to games.
“We know them very well, and so we will have to do a good job both mentally and physically, because Wolfsburg have a lot of quality.”
Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has put the team into a permanent training camp ahead of the Europa League clash.
Benitez said he accepted that decision.
“Everyone has its own way to manage these kind of situations,” the Spaniard said.
“I have respected the president’s decision [to force a training camp] mainly because we still have 10 games to go and we can still do a very positive season.
“We must be united to make our fans happy.”
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