Barry is on Benitez’s wish list this summer.
In a bizarre twist Manchester City midfielder Gareth Barry has emerged as a surprise target for Serie A runners-up Napoli, according to Tuttosport.
The 32-year-old is expected to struggle to get a place in the City team this season with the likes of Yaya Toure, Javi Garcia and new £30m signing Fernandinho all competing with the Englishman for a spot in central midfield.
Yet new Napoli manager Rafael Benitez is thought to be a big fan of Barry and sees the England international as the ideal replacement if Gokham Inler or Blerim Dzemaili decide to leave the club.
The Citizens man was one of the first new acquisitions at the Etihad Stadium when Sheikh Mansour took ownership of the side in 2009.
In four years at City the former Aston Villa star has won both the FA Cup and the Premier League title, as well as making 175 appearances for the 2012 English champions in all competitions.
Barry has just a year remaining on his current deal at the Etihad and whilst the Englishman cost £12m four years ago, it’s unlikely the defensive midfielder would fetch more than half of that now.
In fact football website transfermarkt.com values the player at £5.3m, but with only 12 months remaining on Barry’s current deal Benitez could probably land the City man for much less than that.
It could be an attractive prospect for the player, who has been capped 53 times by his country, as Napoli have Champions League football this season and Barry is likely to get much more game time in Naples than Manchester.