Napoli manager Rafael Benitez will be hoping for second time lucky in his pursuit of Lyon midfielder Maxime Gonalons after the player's representative said the 24 year old could join the Serie A club having previously turned down a move to Liverpool during the Spaniard's six-year tenure at Anfield.
Gonalons was previously a target for Arsenal but in signing Mathieu Flamini and Mesut Ozil the north London club have seemingly ruled themselves out of a move.
The French international is reportedly considering his future after Lyon's difficult start to the season which sees them 14th after four defeats in their first nine matches, with Napoli rumoured to be among those interested in capitalising on his discontent.
Benitez orchestrated the addition of 12 new signings during the summer transfer window and is expected to return for a bid for Gonalons, who he attempted to sign while manager at Liverpool.
"Interest of Napoli? This summer I met [Napoli sporting director] Riccardo Bigon a couple of times to talk about Gonalons but then nothing more," Gonalons' agent Frederic Guerra said.
"The transfer of Gonalons to the blue shirt of Napoli is possible. Benitez already wanted Gonalons during his time as coach of Liverpool."
The defensive midfielder has made close to 150 appearances for Lyon across four seasons as a professional having joined the club aged 10.
Benitez earned a reputation during his spell at Liverpool from 2006-2010 for signing predominantly Spanish players, recruiting Xabi Alonso, Pepe Reina and Fernando Torres among others during a successful spell on Merseyside.
However, Benitez's transfer policy was also called into question with a constant request for funds despite the addition of a number of inauspicious signings during his time at Liverpool.
The 53 year old won the Champions League, the FA Cup and the Super Cup while at the Reds but his continued support of the Hillsborough Family Support Group and attendance of the annual memorial service at Anfield means he is held in great regard at the club.
Following an interim spell at Chelsea last season where he guided the club to the Europa League, Benitez has enjoyed a successful spell at Napoli but suffered a 2-0 defeat to Arsenal in the Champions League upon his most recent return to English shores.
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