Former Spain boss Luis Enrique has emerged as the leading candidate to replace outgoing manager Luciano Spalletti at Napoli.
Despite leading the Partenopei to their first Serie A title since 1990, Spalletti is on the verge of leaving southern Italy after falling out with club president Aurelio De Laurentiis.
According to Corriere dello Sport, De Laurentiis has identified Enrique as the best man for the job and is ready to offer him a two-year deal worth around €10 million to convince him to take over the team.
The 53-year-old made his senior coaching debut at Roma in 2011/12 before returning to his homeland to take charge of Celta Vigo, which was a stepping stone to the Barcelona job.
He moved back to Spotify Camp Nou as a manager, having previously played for the Blaugrana between 1996 and 2004, helping the team win numerous accolades during his three-year tenure.
Not only had the Spaniard guided the Catalan powerhouse to a second treble in the club’s history in 2015/16, but he also led them to eight major trophies before exiting the club in 2017.
After taking a one-year sabbatical, Enrique returned to work in 2018 to take over the managerial reigns at Spain, where he failed to leave a mark before cutting ties with La Furia Roja in the wake of the 2022 World Cup.
He’s ready to move back into club management after six years, and Napoli are willing to give him a chance as it’s become clear that Spalletti won’t be at the Maradona Stadium next season.
The Italian manager was hopeful of landing an improved new contract, but De Laurentiis has quietly triggered a one-year extension instead, which hasn’t gone well with the ex-Inter Milan tactician.
The break-up looks imminent, with Napoli already searching for a new coach.
If talks with Enrique go sideways, De Laurentiis could turn his attention towards Bologna’s Thiago Motta and Fiorentina’s Vincenzo Italiano.
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