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Rafael nears Napoli move; Benayoun attracting interest

S.S.C. Napoli are on the verge of agreeing a €5 million deal with Santos FC for Brazil international goalkeeper Rafael Cabral Barbosa.

S.S.C. Napoli are on the verge of agreeing a €5 million deal with Santos FC for Brazil international goalkeeper Rafael Cabral Barbosa, Sky Sports understands.

Rafael, 23, has been linked with a number of European clubs, including the likes of A.S. Roma, FC Barcelona and Tottenham Hotspur, since making his international debut in a friendly against the United States on 30 May 2012.

Since breaking into the first-team in 2010, the Brazil international has made 189 appearances in all competitions for Peixe.

“The negotiation for the sale of my client to Napoli is going really well. Talks should be closed soon,” Rafael’s agent Paulo Alfonso told Lancenet.

“Rafael is looking forward to going to Napoli. A meeting with Rafael Benitez has been decisive.”

The 23-year-old shot-stopper, who was linked with a move to Manchester City last season, has won four trophies with Santos, including: the Copa do Brasil (2010), the 2011 Copa Libertadores (2011), the Recopa Sudamericana (2012) and the Campeonato Paulista – Série A1 (2010-12).

Tiene to Montpellier

Montpellier HSC have confirmed the signing of Côte d’Ivoire left-back Siaka Tiene from French champions Paris Saint-Germain, according to Sky Sports.

Tiene, 31, had been previously linked with a summer move to the English Premier League, with Fulham and West Bromwich Albion reportedly interested in the Côte d’Ivoire international.

“An experienced player, who is used to Ligue 1 battles, Tiene has joined Montpellier squad for the next two seasons,” read a statement on La Paillade’s official website.

Tiene was an outcast under manager Carlo Ancelotti last season, making just two league appearances for Les Parisiens while former Barcelona defender Maxwell earned the majority of the playing time at left-back.

Benayoun attracting interest

The agent of Yossi Benayoun, Ronen Katzev, has revealed that a host of clubs, including West Bromwich Albion, are interested in the Israel international, Sky Sports reports.

Benayoun, 33, was released by Chelsea at the end of the season following three bench-ridden years at Stamford Bridge.

The 33-year-old midfielder, who has played for the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and West Ham United, is considering his options after a season-long loan at Upton Park.

According to Katzev, Benayoun is also attracting interest from unnamed clubs in Germany and Spain.

“West Brom have registered their interest and now we are just waiting to see what other options are available,” said Katzev.

“We have been negotiating with another club in the Premier League and clubs in Germany and Spain, so Yossi will have to make a decision very soon.

“He has been playing in England for a long time now so it has become like a second home to him.”

Sat 29 June, 2013
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