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Italy step up Luciano Spalletti pursuit as talks opened with Napoli over exit clause

The managerial position at the Italian national team is up for grabs following the shocking exit of Roberto Mancini.

Mancini is reportedly on the verge of becoming the new head coach of Saudi Arabia, who have offered him a highly lucrative deal.

Luciano Spalletti has emerged as a potential managerial candidate for the Azzurri, with the Italian currently on a sabbatical since leaving Napoli earlier this summer.

However, the reigning European champions have a major hurdle to overcome in the form of Spalletti’s exit clause with Napoli.

The former AS Roma manager left the Partenopei while there was still a year left in his contract.

Although the Serie A champions didn’t seek a compensation fee from Spalletti, they included an exit clause in his deal.

“The clause binds Napoli and Spalletti – no one else,” Napoli lawyer Mattia Grassani told TuttoMercatoWeb.

“Then it is not forbidden that a club or a federation, interested in hiring the coach, can substitute themselves for the coach, paying the amount.

“Spalletti is the master of his own destiny. If he joins a club rather than a national team, that sum is due. Or he stays put.

“The clause was intended to compensate Napoli if Spalletti did not keep his promise to stay on for a year, with the prospect of there being a rival club.”

As per a new report from Sky Sport Italia, Italian Football Federation president Gabriele Gravina is determined to land Spalletti.

He has initiated talks with Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis regarding the termination clause, which is worth €3.25 million.

Spalletti led the Neapolitans to the Scudetto last term – the club’s first title in 33 years.

The 64-year-old created a formidable side – consisting of stars like Victor Osimhen, Khvicha Kvaratskhelia and Kim Min-jae – that proved to be a force to be reckoned with in Europe.

Italy are also keeping tabs on Antonio Conte as an alternative option. The former Tottenham Hotspur boss previously managed the national team between 2014 and 2016.

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