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Serie A

Napoli crisis: Insigne, Callejón and Mertens in the firing line

The Napoli president is considering stripping the Italy striker of the captaincy and shifting the long-serving Spaniard and Belgian on according to reports.

Salzburg's Austrian midfielder Zlatko Junuzovic (C) gets ahead of Napoli's Belgian forward Dries Mertens (R) during the UEFA Champions League Group E football match Napoli vs Salzburg on November 5, 2019 at the San Paolo stadium in Naples. (Phot

The unfolding crisis at Napoli could lead to serious repercussions for some of the club’s longest-serving players according to reports in Italy, with Lorenzo Insigne, Dries Mertens and José Callejón facing the wrath of club president Aurelio De Laurentiis after the entire squad ignored a decree to remain at the Castel Volturno training complex between the completion of the 1-1 draw against Salzburg in the Champions League until after the Serie A game against Genoa on Saturday.

Napoli released a statement on Wednesday threatening legal action against Carlo Ancelotti’s squad and placing the blame for the collective disobedience of the players on the Italian tactician.

"It is also made clear that the responsibility to decide on ordering days in a training retreat lies with coach Carlo Ancelotti,” the statement read, adding that the club would be placed under a media blackout until further notice.

Insigne could be stripped of captaincy

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On Thursday, Tutto Napoli reported that Insigne could be stripped of the captaincy that he inherited when Marek Hamsik left the club last February. Meanwhile, Il Mattino speculated that Mertens, who recently overtook Diego Maradona’s tally of goals for the Azzurri, and vice-captain Callejón are the ringleaders of the standoff between the squad and the hierarchy and that they could be shipped out at the end of the season. Both player have been at the San Paolo since 2013.

Napoli sit in seventh in the table, 11 points behind leaders Juventus and closer to the relegation places than the summit, causing De Laurentiis to lay out the unprecedented order for the squad to remain cloistered until after Saturday’s home game against 17th-placed Genoa.


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