Albiol denies Valencia rumours

Raul Albiol denies rumours linking him with a return to Valencia, insisting he is happy at Napoli.

Recent specualtion has linked the 31-year-old defender with a move back to the club with which he began his senior career.

However, during an interview with AS, the Spaniard confirmed he is only focused on helping the Italian side – where he has been since joining from Real Madrid in 2013.

"I am from there [Valencia], it is normal that those things are reported," Albiol said. 

"This year it wasn't to be, but I have never looked to leave at any moment.

"On the contrary, I am happy here. They have a lot of faith in me and I have just renewed my contract."

Albiol added that he is not currently thinking about returning to his homeland to end his career.

"I don't like thinking about what could happen in two or three years. I want to focus on this season."

Napoli enjoyed a relatively successful 2016-17 campaign, finishing third in Serie A and reaching the Champions League Round of 16 whilst deploying an attractive style of football.

However, the defender is not getting carried away with talk of the Partenopei ending their long wait for a League title.

"People talk about that a lot, but winning the League is very difficult. We have a good team, we compete well and we want to improve and get closer to those 90 points we will need to win the title."

Napoli are set to face Atletico Madrid in the Audi Cup tomorrow, with Albiol anticipating tough test.

"It's a good match, we're facing a competitive team with a winning mentality since [Diego] Simeone arrived.

"It will be an important test in order to understand how our preparation is going."

Former Madrid man Albiol also admitted his delight that Los Blancos beat Napoli's Serie A rivals Juventus in last season's Champions League final.

"It is normal, I am an ex-Madrid player and a Napoli player. I could only go for Madrid.

"I'm also happy that it was Los Blancos who were the first team to win two consecutive Champions Leagues. I had a feeling it would be them because of their history."

Tags Juventus Napoli Raul Albiol