Rafael Benitez
Rafael Benitez is expected to succeed Carlo Ancelotti at Real Madrid after the Italian was relieved of his duties Getty Images)

Rafael Benitez has confirmed he will leave Napoli this summer amid reports that he is expected to be named as the new manager of Real Madrid.

Former Liverpool and Chelsea boss Benitez took charge at the Stadio San Paolo in May 2013 following previous incumbent Walter Mazzarri's decision to join domestic rivals Inter Milan and subsequently guided the club to success in the Coppa Italia last term as well as a third-place finish in Serie A.

Napoli, who beat Juventus to the Italian Super Cup in December 2014, progressed to the semi-finals of the Europa League this season after suffering the disappointment of failing to qualify for the group stages of the Champions League.

Benitez's contract in Italy is due to expire at the end of June and with widespread speculation suggesting he has emerged as Real's number one choice to replace Carlo Ancelotti, Napoli staged a press conference on 28 May in which the Spaniard announced the upcoming match against Lazio would be the last of his two-year tenure.

"I want to thank the chairman, club and fans because after two years, my experience here in Napoli is coming to an end," Benitez told the assembled media. "On Sunday, we have a very important match and I want to finish my two years with a victory."

"The family has been the key to my choice. Napoli and Aurelio [De Laurentiis] have made every effort and we were close to renewal."

Following a 3-1 defeat to Juve in Turin, fourth-place Napoli host Lazio, who are third, on the final day of the 2014-15 campaign knowing a victory would see them overtake Stefano Pioli's side and secure another opportunity to qualify for Europe's elite club competition via the play-off round.

Benitez may not have much time to dwell on the outcome of that particular match, though, with the latest rumours from the Spanish press suggesting he could be unveiled as Ancelotti's successor at the Bernabeu as early as 3 June.

Real Madrid hit seven past Getafe during the final round of La Liga matches yet finished second behind fierce rivals and champions Barcelona by a margin of two points.

Los Blancos also failed to progress to the Champions League final in Berlin following defeat to Juventus and the combination of failures left Ancelotti out of a job despite his success in helping the club end a 12-year wait for their 10th European Cup success in 2014.

The 55-year-old, a double winner with Chelsea in 2010, has already been linked with a return to England with Liverpool or Manchester City as well as another potential spell at AC Milan, yet it appears he is set to take a break from management while he undergoes a back procedure.