Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has fuelled speculation surrounding Luciano Spalletti’s long-term future, suggesting the Italian manager could leave the club this summer.
There is growing tension between the club’s president and Spalletti despite the head coach leading the Partenopei to their first Scudetto triumph in over three decades.
Spalletti’s contract was set to expire at the end of the season, and there were concerns about the long-term future of the former Inter Milan boss.
Napoli chief De Laurentiis took the proactive step of activating a clause to extend Spalletti’s stay at the Estadio Diego Armando Maradona for another campaign.
However, his decision sparked unrest with Spalletti, especially with the way he received news of his extended stay with De Laurentiis informing the manager through an email.
Spalletti is reportedly unhappy with how the club handled his contract extension. He expected different treatment, especially in light of his recent achievement.
The growing tension between the pair had led to rumours suggesting the 64-year-old could exit Naples this summer regardless of the extension, and De Laurentiis has done little to dispel the speculation.
“Spalletti is a champion, and the champions have to find a field to express themselves at their best,” he said (via La Gazzetta dello Sport).
“He found it with us, and everything worked. Better if in Naples? No doubt, but in life, freedom is an immeasurable and invaluable good.
“We must not clip anyone’s wings, as no one must do it with me. We have to stay connected. The important thing is to be grateful to those who gave you and those who received.”
Spalletti will not be short on options should he decide to leave Napoli with Juventus considering a managerial change at the end of the season.
Despite the prospect of qualifying for the Champions League, Massimiliano Allegri’s future with the Bianconeri reportedly hinges on success in the Europa League.
It remains to be seen what happens between Spalletti and Napoli, but the manager’s immediate focus will be on Sunday’s home clash with Champions League finalists Inter Milan.
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