Former boss to return for Chelsea star

Cesar Azpilicueta

Rafael Benitez is considering raiding former club Chelsea for Spanish full back Cesar Azpilicueta, according to the Daily Star.

The Napoli boss is keen to add defensive reinforcements in January as he looks to launch an assault on the Serie A title, and was impressed with the performances of the Spanish full back during his time in charge at Stamford Bridge.

Benitez’s side currently lie second in Serie A, just three points behind league leaders Roma.

The Spanish international joined Chelsea in the summer of 2012 for just £7million from French club Marseille.

He made 27 appearances under Benitez last season, helping the Blues qualify for the Champions League and triumph in the Europa League.

However, Azpilicueta has found first team football hard to come by since the arrival of Jose Mourinho, managing just three Premier League appearances this season.

He impressed last week in the Capital One Cup victory over Arsenal, in which he scored his first Chelsea goal in a comfortable 2-0 win.

The 24-year-old is desperate for regular first team football in order to force himself into the Spain squad for next summer’s World Cup, and may be tempted to reunite with his former manager in Italy with that promise.

It remains to be seen whether Mourinho will be willing to do business with Benitez, as the pair famously do not get on dating back to the time in which Benitez was manager of Liverpool.

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