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Transfer Rater: Rodrigo to Real Madrid

Football Whispers
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Maurizio Sarri wanted to take entire Napoli team to Chelsea - Aurelio De Laurentiis

ESPN FC's Paolo Bandini delves into Gonzalo Higuain's future at Juventus and discusses the chances he'll join Maurizio Sarri at Chelsea.

Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has accused Maurizio Sarri of wanting to take his entire team to Chelsea with him.

Following lengthy negotiations, Sarri was finally named Chelsea boss -- with predecessor Antonio Conte taking the first sessions of preseason training despite knowing he would be leaving the club. Sarri was signed along with midfielder Jorginho, who was so crucial to his system at the San Paolo.

But De Laurentiis, who admits the pair left on bad terms, claims Sarri wanted to take even more of his former players with him to West London.

"I didn't like when he said that both of us had made errors, because I don't believe I made any," De Laurentiis said. "Then, even worse, he wanted dismantle this squad and take it all to England.

"I had to be firm with [Chelsea director] Marina [Granovskaia] for guarantees that no one would be leaving. Then he signed Jorginho because [Carlo] Ancelotti likes [Amadou] Diawara."

Meanwhile, De Laurentiis also apologised to Karim Benzema after the Real Madrid striker took offence following the Napoli owner's "old men" comments on the back of reports linking them to the Frenchman and Angel Di Maria.

Benzema responded with an Instagram story in which he called De Laurentiis "crazy."

"I'm not angry about his social response, it's right that he feels petty and I apologise if it is this way," De Laurentiis said when asked about Benzema's reaction.

"Today like any other he's not a Napoli player but could have been four or five years ago, just like Di Maria."

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