De Laurentiis to turn to Luis Enrique if Spalletti quits Napoli
Napoli’s president will try to convince Spalletti to stay one last time, but given his probable refusal, he will try to entice the Asturian, who is also on PSG’s wants list.
“Being in Naples is a privilege, not an obligation”. Aurelio De Laurentiis could not have spoken more clearly yesterday, during Gigi D’Alessio’s open air concert at Piazza del Plebiscito while the tifosi chanted Luciano Spalletti’s name. The Serie A-winning coach, who has recently tattooed both the third scudetto and the shield of his current club on his left forearm, has decided to leave - apparently to take a year off.
De Laurentiis has exercised the option to extend his contract until 2024, but also stated that he does not want to “clip his wings”. The president will try one last time to convince Spalletti to continue before the big party on 4 June and if he does not succeed, AS has been able to find out, he has already someone to replace him: Luis Enrique.
De Laurentiis considers the 53-year-old Spaniard to be the ideal person to continue developing Spalletti’s ideas, maintain the team’s competitiveness and international attractiveness in the transfer market. The idea has taken hold in the last week and in Naples they say that, with the help of the new Crescita Decree (a regime which provides generous tax incentives for foreign expats working in Italy), Naploli could put a very attractive contract on the table. According to the Corriere dello Sport, Luis Enrique would take home around 5 million net if he is hired.
A year in Roma
Luis Enrique knows Serie A having spent a season coaching Roma, he speaks perfect Italian and is used to the pressures of the Partenopean bench - a risk factor for less experienced coaches. He would inherit a competitive squad, which has dominated Serie A without rivals and broke club records in the Champions League. However, he might also have to find replacements for Min-jae Kim and Victor Osimhen, who both could be leaving this summer - although if they do, Napoli will have an extra 200 million euros to spend on reinforcing the squad.
He’s not the only candidate on De Laurentiis’ list - the president would also be open to the return of Rafa Benítez and also rates Thiago Motta and Gian Piero Gasperini, among others. The Atalanta coach responded to being linked to the Napoli job by saying last week, “Luckily, I don’t have time to read news on the internet, there are too many things going around and it’s difficult to follow them all”.
De Laurentiis knows that luring Luis Enrique will not be easy, especially if PSG’s interest becomes more concrete, but he has started contacts and wants to get ahead of the competition. He could well surprise again, as he did with the unexpected additions of Benítez and Ancelotti.