Slovakian attacking midfielder Marek Hamsik has agreed a new five-year contract at Napoli, allaying fears surrounding his future with the Serie A side.
New head coach Rafa Benitez saw star striker Edinson Cavani move on to PSG in a multi-million pound deal, but has so far resisted overtures for other prize assets.
The former Liverpool and Chelsea boss went about building a highly competitive squad in Naples with the money generated by the sale of Cavani and will be delighted Hamsik chose to commit long-term to the project.
Hamsik, 26, plundered 70 goals from 262 appearances in a Napoli shirt since moving from Brescia in 2007. That all-too-rare commodity of a goalscoring midfielder is hard to find and Benitez would’ve been under great pressure to replace the Slovak superstar if he’d decided to try his luck elsewhere.
However, the situation at Stadio San Paolo is looking increasingly bright as Benitez gets ready to lead them into a new season. New boys Jose Callejon, Dries Mertens, Gonzalo Higuain, Raul Albiol and Pepe Reina have spruced up the side, while wiping away any lingering worries over the loss of Cavani to Ligue 1.
Napoli look stronger than last season and Hamsik’s contract renewal marks a stamp of approval for the methods of Champions League-winning coach Benitez, the man charged with delivering the Neapolitan faithful their first Scudetto since 1990.