Serie A: Napoli coach Spalletti to step aside after title win, says club owner

Luciano Spalletti has just led Napoli to the Serie A title for the first time since 1990 but there has been speculation about whether he would stay on.

Published : May 29, 2023 16:59 IST , ROME - 2 MINS READ

Spalletti, 64, had told the owner that he wanted to take a sabbatical for a year, De Laurentiis said, adding he would not oppose the request.
Spalletti, 64, had told the owner that he wanted to take a sabbatical for a year, De Laurentiis said, adding he would not oppose the request. | Photo Credit: REUTERS
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Spalletti, 64, had told the owner that he wanted to take a sabbatical for a year, De Laurentiis said, adding he would not oppose the request. | Photo Credit: REUTERS

Napoli coach Luciano Spalletti won’t be in charge of the newly crowned Italian champion next season as he has asked to take a break for a year, the club’s owner said.

Spalletti has just led Napoli to the Serie A title for the first time since 1990 but there has been speculation about whether he would stay on.

Napoli owner Aurelio De Laurentiis had said on Sunday night that the coach had asked for a sabbatical and that he would not stand in his way and Spalletti confirmed the plan.

“Out of respect for the club I told De Laurentiis straightaway that I needed to take a year off,” Italian news agency Ansa quoted Spalletti as saying on Monday.

“I’m a bit tired and want to spend time with my daughter Matilde,” he added on the sidelines of a sports business conference.

Italian media speculated that former Spain national team coach Luis Enrique was the likely replacement for Spalletti. It was not clear what Spalletti, who is 64, would do after his break.

Napoli has run away with the Serie A title this season, upstaging its rival from the wealthier north to win the league for the first time since the Diego Maradona era.

“Spalletti has been a really great coach, he’s a free man, he’s given a lot, I thank him and now it’s right that he does what he wants to,” Napoli owner Aurelio De Laurentiis told a talk show on Rai TV on Sunday night.

Spalletti, who took charge of Napoli in 2021, had broken down in tears when Napoli clinched the title this month, paying tribute to his family and his brother who passed away four years ago.

He has coached a number of Italian clubs including AS Roma and Inter Milan, and spent five years with Russian club Zenit St Petersburg.

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