• Thu. Sep 21st, 2023

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Napoli’s owner was ready to let Luciano Spalletti take coaching leave despite a contract extension

The Athletic

Napoli owner Aurelio De Laurentiis has confirmed that he is prepared to let Luciano Spalletti retire from coaching at the end of this season.

The Italian champions exercised the option on Spalletti’s one-year contract last month, but the 64-year-old coach wants to take time off.

Napoli have tried to convince him to stay and build on the team’s first Scudetto since 1990, but Spalletti’s mind is made up. He wants to go back to his farm in Tuscany and spend more time with his family.

Appearing on RAI’s Che Tempo Che Fa programme, De Laurentiis said: “When someone comes to you and says that even though they have a year left on their contract, they’d rather go on sabbatical, what do you do? Do you stand in their way?

“In life you should always be generous. You need to give without expecting anything from anyone. Luciano has given (to Naples) and therefore he is a free man. It is right to let him go.”

As Spalletti is technically under contract for another year, he will not be allowed to coach anyone else in the meantime. A one-year extension essentially acts as a non-compete.

Spalletti has taken time off before and served out great years on his contract after being sacked by Zenit Saint Petersburg and Inter.

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(Photo: Getty Images)

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