World Football Gossip Roundup: Rafa Benitez, Luis Suarez, Edinson Cavani, Neymar

Michael CummingsWorld Football Lead WriterFebruary 28, 2013

World Football Gossip Roundup: Rafa Benitez, Luis Suarez, Edinson Cavani, Neymar

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    Rafael Benitez is big news today because, well, you know why.

    After such an epic rant, Benitez was bound to be the lead story in this Thursday edition of the B/R World Football Gossip Roundup.

    So what's next for the Spanish manager? That story is inside, along with rumors and gossip on Luis Suarez, Edinson Cavani, Neymar and more.

    Keep reading for all the details.

Rafael Benitez Latest

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    Chelsea will not sack Rafa Benitez following his comments on Wednesday night after the Blues' 2-0 win over Middlesbrough in the FA Cup (via The Guardian).

    Benitez, 52, spoke out against Chelsea fans, who have chanted against him since he was appointed interim manager in November. He also said the club had made a mistake in making him interim manager instead of full-time.

    According to The Independent, Chelsea will appoint former manager Avram Grant to see out the season. The club is reportedly "confident" of bringing back Jose Mourinho as the next full-time manager.

    Mourinho, 50, currently manages Real Madrid.

    Chelsea have also been linked with Malaga manager Manuel Pellegrini (via The Independent). 

Luis Suarez Would Listen to Bayern Munich Offer?

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    Liverpool forward Luis Suarez says he would "listen and think about" a potential offer from Bayern Munich, according to Metro.

    Suarez, 26, has been linked heavily with a move to Bayern Munich this summer. He joined Liverpool from Ajax in 2011 and has scored 24 goals in all competitions this season.

    "If Bayern Munich makes an offer I would certainly be willing to listen and think about it," Suarez is quoted as saying. "It doesn’t mean I will definitely leave. It just means that I will not automatically reject other clubs."

    Suarez would cost Bayern at least £40 million, according to the report. 

Real Madrid Closing on Edinson Cavani

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    Real Madrid officials have begun negotiations with Edinson Cavani's representatives, according to the Daily Mail.

    Cavani, a 26-year-old Uruguay international forward, has scored 26 goals in all competitions this season for Napoli. He has been linked with multiple clubs, including Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City.

    According to the report, Cavani is Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini's top transfer target this summer. He reportedly has a £52 million release clause in his contract. 

Santos to Offer Neymar a Contract Extension?

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    Santos vice-president Odilio Rodrigues says the club will offer Neymar a new contract (via ESPN FC).

    Neymar, a 21-year-old Brazil international forward, is perhaps the world's most sought-after transfer target. He has been linked with top clubs across Europe including Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.

    Neymar's current contract runs until 2014.

    Rodrigues said: 

    The club’s managing committee has already decided we intend to extend his (Neymar’s) contract beyond 2014. We are working to make that happen.

    We have already opened talks with Neymar’s father, who denies there is any kind of agreement with Barcelona and we believe him. He said Neymar will be where he is happy.

Borussia Dortmund Official Confirms Robert Lewandowski Exit

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    Poland international forward Robert Lewandowski will not renew his contract with Borussia Dortmund and will leave the club this summer or next, a club official has confirmed (via Goal.com).

    Lewandowski, 24, has been linked heavily with a transfer to Bayern Munich this summer. Manchester United are also thought to be interested.

    BVB sporting director Michael Zorc told Sky Deutschland: "Robert will not renew his contract; he will leave either this summer or in the summer of 2014."

    Lewandowski has scored 19 goals in all competitions this season. 

UEFA Orders Lazio to Play 2 Matches Behind Closed Doors

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    European governing body UEFA has ordered Lazio to play their next two European matches behind closed doors following an incident of racism among fans (via BBC Sport).

    UEFA also fined Lazio €40,000. The punishments stem from an incident during a recent Europa League match against Germany's Borussia Monchengladbach. According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, 300 Lazio fans made Nazi salutes in the stands.

    Earlier this season, the club was fined £120,000 after fans conducted a racist chant during a game against Tottenham Hotspur.

    Lazio president Claudio Lotito said the club would appeal.

    "To suffer a punishment of one or two games behind closed doors, which will cause serious economic damage to the club and prevent fans from participating in an event like this, seems absurd to me," he said. 

Quick Kicks

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    Tottenham Hotspur reject bid from Anzhi Makhachkala for Younes Kaboul (via The Guardian).

    Norwegian striker John Carew has ended his trial at Inter Milan after concerns over his fitness (via BBC Sport).

    Fiorentina midfielder Borja Valero (pictured) is not interested in Real Madrid, according to his agent (via Sky Sports).

    AC Milan will not fine Mario Balotelli for a late-night outing (via Football Italia).

    The Rossoneri are watching 18-year-old left-back Jordan Lukaku, the brother of Chelsea's Romelu (via talkSPORT).