NAPOLI manager Luciano Spalletti will stand down as manager, the Serie A club’s owner has confirmed.
Aurelio De Laurentiis has revealed the 64-year-old asked to take a sabbatical, which he could not refuse.
Spalletti still has one year left on his current deal, but asked to leave at the end of the current campaign.
De Laurentiis said he could not stand in the way of the former Inter boss after he guided Napoli to their first Serie A title since 1990.
“Spalletti told me that a cycle has come to an end and he asked me to leave because he wants a sabbatical year. I will respect his choice despite the contract,” De Laurentiis said.
Recently, Spalletti revealed he had not received an extension to his deal that expires in 2024.
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The decision to take a sabbatical reportedly stems from a clause in his contract that forbids him from managing anyone next season.
Spalletti’s stock could not be higher, after landing the league with Napoli 33 years after their last triumph.
They did it playing some of the best football in Europe, while having to make cuts to their squad last summer.
The likes of Lorenzo Insigne, Dries Mertens and Kalidou Koulibally were all moved on as the squad was rebuilt.
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Man Utd target Kim Min-jae and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia were brought in, and proved to be pivotal in their success.
Napoli now face a difficult task in appointing his successor.
According to reports in Italy, they are targeting Antonio Conte, Rafa Benitez, Jurgen Klopp and Roberto De Zerbi.
Source: Soccer - thesun.co.uk