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Aug 26, 2014

Stefan Reinartz 'rejects Napoli move'

Karim Bellarabi scored the quickest goal in Bundesliga history and set up another as Leverkusen stunned Dortmund with a 2-0 win on Saturday.

Stefan Reinartz has rejected an offer from Napoli and is set to stay at Bayer Leverkusen, German football magazine kicker reports.

- Transfer Talk: United eyeing move for Vidal again

Reinartz, 25, endured a difficult 2013-14 campaign at Leverkusen as injuries accompanied by a dip in form limited the holding midfielder to only 14 Bundesliga appearances, ultimately costing him a place in Germany's World Cup-winning squad this summer.

According to kicker, Napoli -- who were also linked with Germany youngster Christoph Kramer this summer -- made a move for Reinartz, but the holding midfielder refused to enter contract talks with the Serie A club.

The German football weekly said that despite starting last season as a second-half substitute, Reinartz prefers to be part of Roger Schmidt's project at Leverkusen.

The former Salzburg coach's side stormed into the league on Saturday, scoring only nine seconds into their first match at title contenders Borussia Dortmund and going on to beat BVB 2-0.

Jonathan de Guzman, meanwhile, says he is "honoured" to be playing for Napoli, a club with "such prestige and history."

The former Swansea midfielder turned down offers to continue playing in the Premier League to join the Azzurri, and is convinced he made the right choice.

"Napoli are competitive in Europe and in Italy, but I know how important it is to win the Scudetto and that is my dream," he said at a news conference in Naples.

"Napoli are one of the strongest clubs in Europe. I wanted to try something new -- a new experience -- and this is the absolute ultimate. I'm honoured to play for Napoli."

De Guzman may not have been Napoli's first-choice signing, but after moves for Maxime Gonalons and Sandro failed, the Serie A club turned to the 26-year-old Netherlands international, who remains convinced he can prove his worth in Rafael Benitez's side.

"I've got a good overview of the game and I take a good set-piece," De Guzman explained. "Furthermore, I've played in various different positions and I believe I can give this team more quality.

"Benitez is an icon in world football. He's coached at top clubs and I really like the way his teams play. I'm here to give my best and to learn."

ESPN FC correspondent Ben Gladwell contributed to this report.

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