Gokhan Inler: I've never thought about wanting to leave Napoli

Napoli midfielder Gokhan Inler has dismissed suggestions he wants to leave the Serie A club, saying the thought has never crossed his mind.

Inler, 30, has started only 13 of his side's 28 Serie A games this season and it had been suggested that he may have fallen out of favour with coach Rafael Benitez.

The Switzerland international, however, insisted he is happy at Napoli during in an interview with bluewin.ch.

"I've never even taken the idea of leaving Napoli into consideration," he said. "There was a time when I wasn't playing much due to a calf problem. It was at the end of the Europa League group stage [in December] and the pain was strong. I agreed with Benitez that I would play less."

Inler initially started just two of Napoli's first seven league games after the winter break, but he has played the full 90 minutes in their last three outings and says being forced to fight for his place back in the team has helped him, in addition to having a strong character.

"Having competition for places is good for all of us," he said. "I've saved plenty of positive experiences, but one of my strengths is also that I can put up with a lot. I'm ready to accept certain situations. I'm strong enough to cope with the pressure.

"The expectations at Napoli are now extremely high and things have started to boil up a bit lately seeing that we're not picking up as many points as we were last season, but we shouldn't let this concern us. We're still fighting on three fronts and we've got every opportunity to change this situation."