BREAKING NEWS: Dortmund sign Sokratis Papastathopoulos from Werder Bremen

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  1. 'Mario, you will never redeem yourself'

    ‘Mario, you will never redeem yourself’

    Mario Gotze’s injury means the playmaker has now played his final game for Borussia Dortmund. In an open letter, a fan tells of his emotion at his controversial switch to Bayern

  2. Soulless EPL must face up to grim reality

    Soulless EPL must face up to grim reality

    After a season marred by controversy and a failure of its top teams to put up a credible Champions League challenge, the world’s supposed best league is falling behind

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Napoli chief: Benitez is new boss

The outgoing Chelsea manager has been confirmed by club president Aurelio De Laurentiis as the replacement to Walter Mazzarri at the Stadio San Paolo

Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has revealed that Rafa Benitez has been hired as the new coach at the Serie A club.

Despite finishing second in Serie A, Walter Mazzarri parted ways with the Partenopei and, until Friday’s confirmation, who would replace him in the Stadio San Paolo was up in the air.

However, De Laurentiis has ended the speculation by revealing that the outgoing Chelsea boss – who helped the Blues lift the Europa League trophy this season – will step into Mazzarri’s shoes in a two-year deal.

He told Sky Sport Italia on Friday: “Benitez is the new coach of Napoli. I made myself a birthday present. He’ll be our new coach for the next two years.”

Despite achieving continental glory with the Blues and securing a Champions League spot by finishing third in the Premier League, the former Liverpool boss is not expected to remain in charge at Stamford Bridge.

Instead, Jose Mourinho is expect to make a return to Chelsea – with Real Madrid having confirmed he will leave this summer – and Mazzarri’s departure opens the door for Benitez to return to Serie A, which he left in 2010 after an unsuccessful spell at Inter.

One of the former Inter trainer’s immediate concerns will be ensuring that star striker Edinson Cavani stays at the Neapolitan club or, if the Spaniard is unable to convince the Uruguayan to stay, then he will want an adequate replacement in attack.

Monaco pay €70 million for Porto pair

Highly rated Colombian forward James Rodriguez costs the newly promoted Ligue 1 club €45m while midfielder Joao Moutinho heads to France for €25m

Porto duo Joao Moutinho and James Rodriguez are joining Monaco in a transfer deal worth €70 million.

The big-spending Ligue 1 club confirmed the two transfers on Friday in a move which announces their presence as serious players in the European transfer market this summer.

Moutinho, who was linked with a January move to Tottenham, has cost the newly promoted Ligue 1 outfit €25m, while Colombian forward Rodriguez has been sold for an enormous €45m by the Primeira Division champions.

The pair have both signed five-year deals with the principality club who have also been linked with a €50m move for Atletico Madrid star Radamel Falcao.

Rodriguez is 21 years old but has commanded a huge fee that makes him currently the most expensive deal of the summer, ahead of Mario Gotze who cost Bayern Munich €37m to buy from fellow Champions League finalists Borussia Dortmund.

Moutinho, 26, is in the prime of his career and will be considered an excellent coup for Claudio Ranieri’s men, who will look to storm the top French tier in 2013-14 having won the Ligue 2 title this season.

Both players will be presented the media when the club regroups after a post-season break, which will be towards the end of June or start of July.

BREAKING NEWS: Moutinho & Rodriguez sign for Monaco in €70m deal

Porto duo Joao Moutinho and James Rodriguez have joined Monaco in a transfer deal worth €70 million.

The French club confirmed the two acquisitions on Friday though did not reveal the cost of either player, however, due to the Portuguese side being on the stock market, the cost of the duo has been unearthed.

Moutinho, who was linked with a January move to Tottenham, has cost the newly promoted Ligue 1 outfit €25m, while Colombian forward Rodriguez has fetched an enormous €45m for the Primeira Division champions.

More to follow…

Botafogo coach laughs off losing Seedorf

Oswaldo de Oliveira is convinced his veteran midfielder will not be returning to AC Mlan club amid rumours over the future of the current boss

Botafogo coach Oswaldo de Oliveira has completely dismissed suggestions that Clarence Seedorf could ditch the Brazilian club to take over as AC Milan trainer.

The speculation over the future of Rossoneri boss Massimiliano Allegri has led to rumours that the veteran Dutch midfielder, who enjoyed a 10-year spell at the San Siro club, is being lined up as the Italian’s replacement.

Seedorf joined the South American side on a two-year deal in 2012 and Oliveira is extremely confident he will stay, believing that the 37-year-old is now settled in to life in Brazil.

“It will not happen,” the 62-year-old coach told reporters. “I don’t open Italian newspapers, nor do I know the name of even one of them. I talk with Seedorf a lot, who is a quiet guy, I have nothing but respect for him.

“I think that the Seedorf settled in in Rio de Janeiro through the familiarity of his wife [Luviana, a Rio native], because he is very streetwise.

“You see that he affects the whole game. He goes at the same tempo throughout and when the game is nearing its end, he has emptied his petrol tank.”

Seedorf was the first player to win the Champions League with three different clubs – Ajax in 1995, Real Madrid in 1998 and twice with AC Milan in 2003 and 2007.