Benitez is looking to acquire Theo Walcott.
In a shock development, new Napoli manager Rafael Benitez is aiming to bring in Arsenal forward Theo Walcott in order to strengthen his attacking options, according to Tuttosport.
Benitez has been interested in the Englishman since his time as boss of Liverpool between 2004 and 2010, with the Gunners eventually snapping up the 24-year-old for £9.2m in 2006.
In fact whilst acting as interim manager at Chelsea this season the Spaniard convinced the Blues to submit a £15.3m offer for Walcott, but boss Arsene Wenger was unwilling to let the attacker leave mid-season.
Yet now in Naples, Benitez has reignited his desire to sign the winger and appears to be backed by club president Aurelio De Laurentiis in his pursuit of the England international.
“We require another right sided second striker,” De Laurentiis was quoted on Football Italia.
“We are closing in on someone in this area, but I can’t say anything more in order to avoid the asking price going up.”
Napoli should have plenty of cash to spend this summer with the expected departure of striker Edison Cavani to either Chelsea or Real Madrid for around £53m.
However, the Azzuri may need this money as after scoring 21 goals in 43 appearances for Arsenal this year, as well as providing a further 16 assists, Walcott will command a high transfer fee.
According to football website transfermarkt.com Benitez would need to convince De Laurentiis to part with £22m to tempt the Gunners into letting one of their best players leave the Emirates Stadium.
Yet with Walcott coming into the best form of his career it is unlikely that Wenger would want to part with his star winger easily.