Conte too pushy for De Laurentiis and Napoli

Chelsea's Antonio Conte was linked with Napoli, however, his demands proved too much for Aurelio De Laurentiis.

Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte   -  Getty Images

Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis said he opted for Carlo Ancelotti over Antonio Conte as the Italian did not push for signings like the Chelsea boss.

Former Bayern Munich head coach Ancelotti replaced Maurizio Sarri on a three-year deal last week – the veteran tactician returning to Serie A for the first time since leaving AC Milan in 2009.

Conte, who is reportedly set to be replaced by Sarri at Stamford Bridge, was also in talks with De Laurentiis, however, his demands proved too much for the Napoli owner.

Speaking about the arrival of Ancelotti, De Laurentiis said: "I hope he stays with us for another 10 years, but I always have to think about the good of the club.

"I'll always act with objectivity and not allow myself to be taken by enthusiasm. Don't worry, with Carlo we'll do what we have to do.

"With Carlo, we've felt over the years that he's a man who's always given us a sense of serenity.

"When he asked me for some players and I said 'no', he didn't keep insisting like Conte. He understood and did so with great tenderness.

"If he came here, it's because he likes the club, city and current team. He's not someone who'll use Napoli as a stepping stone.

"I'll never forget when Conte courted me for [Kalidou] Koulibaly, going up to €58million with Chelsea. I told him, 'what can I do with €58m?'. Money is a means, not an end. The end is Koulibaly."

Sarri guided Napoli to two runner-up finishes in three seasons, having almost dethroned reigning champions Juventus this term.

The 59-year-old held talks with Napoli over an extension, however, De Laurentiis turned to Ancelotti amid Sarri's growing links with Chelsea.

"There is no background to Sarri's exit," De Laurentiis said. "At a certain point I told the press that his time was over.

"I am in charge of a business, and I can't be waiting for others to be available when they should always be available for the club."

De Laurentiis added: "I gave him time, but then the time expired and I moved on by taking Carlo Ancelotti to Napoli.

"We started to collaborate together for two days in Rome and then with Ancelotti first in London, then in Canada."

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