Film producer De Laurentiis had been linked with outgoing interim Chelsea boss Benitez as a replacement for Napoli's own departing coach Walter Mazzarri, who guided the team to second place in Serie A.
Reports had claimed Benitez would be offered a two-year contract by Napoli, but instead, according to De Laurentiis in quotes reported by Gazzetta, the president sent sporting director Riccardo Bigon to negotiate with City over a deal that could see Cavani move to the Etihad Stadium and Edin Dzeko join the Neapolitans.
De Laurentiis was quoted as saying: "I did not go to London for Benitez. You would have me appointing 15 coaches: it's true, I've heard them all in the last six months and I'm aware.
"Yesterday I was in London with (managing director Andrea) Chiavelli and Bigon and for a simple reason: I have to prepare for the release of the film about Steve Jobs.
"However, I told Bigon, 'Go to City and take the chance to negotiate over Dzeko and see what they are willing to do for Cavani'.
"Who will be the new coach? I don't do things in a hurry. I'm trying to understand who will be the people to accompany me in the next journey."