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Luciano Spalletti confirms Napoli exit as he ‘needs to take time off’

There’s no longer a shred of doubt regarding Luciano Spalletti’s future at Napoli after the Italian boss revealed his plans for next season.

In his second year in charge of the Partenopei, the 64-year-old led the team to their first Serie A title in 33 years, winning his first Scudetto as a manager in the process.

While it makes no sense to part with the club he has helped raise to prominence, it seems the experienced tactician needs rest as he looks to take a sabbatical year following an exhausting season.

“I need to take a year off – I’m a bit tired and I want to be with my daughter Matilde,” Spalletti said during a transfer market symposium, as relayed by the Associated Press.

Spalletti’s second season at Napoli was a resounding success, with the club from southern Italy dethroning last year’s champions AC Milan in emphatic fashion, winning the league with five games to spare.

The former Inter Milan and Roma boss will be on the touchline when Victor Osimhen and his teammates take on the already relegated Sampdoria at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium on Sunday.

It will be his final game in charge. Napoli will officially be crowned new Serie A champions this weekend for only the third time in the club’s history, last conquering the league in 1990.

Aware of his coach’s plans, the Partenopei chief Aurelio De Laurentiis has already drawn a shortlist of potential candidates to replace Spalletti.

One of the names on his radar is ex-Barcelona manager Luis Enrique, who left the managerial post at the Spain national team after a disappointing 2022 World Cup campaign in Qatar last winter.

However, Spalletti is not the only member of the technical staff who won’t be with Napoli next season.

Sporting director Cristiano Giuntoli, who brought in Kim Min-jae and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia last summer, is also contemplating his future on the south coast amid speculation linking him with Juventus.

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