Gattuso 'has two games vs Atalanta and Juventus to save job' with Rafa Benitez waiting in wings to replace Napoli boss

NAPOLI boss Gennaro Gattuso reportedly has two games to save his job with Rafa Benitez in the frame to take over for the rest of the season.

Gattuso's side racked up their seventh Serie A defeat this season against Genoa on Saturday.


And the club sit in sixth place, 12 points behind pace-setters AC Milan but they do have a game in hand.

Italian paper La Gazzetta dello Sport, via Football Italia, reports Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis will weigh up Gattuso's future on Saturday.

That leaves the former Milan midfielder with tonight's Coppa Italia semi-final second leg against Atalanta – tied at 0-0 after the first leg – and Saturday's league match at home to Juventus to prove things are heading in the right direction.

The report states it is inevitable Gattuso will leave at the end of the season but his short-term future at the Stadio Diego Maradona is also up in the air.

It is claimed that De Laurentiis is not just disappointed by results but is unhappy with the attacks directed at him by Gattuso.

There are also tactical disagreements between the manager and club president.

The report suggests De Laurentiis is less than pleased to see £11.4million centre-back Amir Rrahmani get such little game time.

Gattuso has favoured Nikola Maksimovic and Elseid Hysaj – both of whom have deals that are set to expire.

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Rrahmani is so far down the 43-year-old's pecking order that he has even opted to use Giovanni Di Lorenzo out of position ahead of the disgruntled Kosovan.

A number of potential managerial replacements are mentioned with Di Laurentiis believed to be a fan of Hellas Verona boss Ivan Juric, Spezia manager Vicenzo Italiano and Sassuolo coach Roberto De Zerbi.

However, all three will not be available mid-season.

Benitez and ex-Watford manager Walter Mazzarri are touted as immediate options if Gattuso gets the axe.

Former Liverpool, Chelsea and Newcastle boss Benitez is out of work after quitting Chinese side Dalian Professional for family reasons.

Since walking away from his £12m-a-year-deal, Benitez has been linked with a return to the Toon and a move to Celtic to replace under-fire Neil Lennon.

But he could be set to return to Napoli – who he coached between 2013-15 – at short notice.

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