Spalletti is expected to depart Napoli after leading the team to the Serie A championship, but who might succeed him?
Even if the Italian team won their first Serie A championship in 33 years, Napoli will still have to endure another summer transformation. In reality, as numerous rumors and the coach himself intimated in the most recent news conference following the game against Inter, coach Luciano Spalletti will quit the organization at the end of the current campaign.
“There is nothing I’m waiting for; everything is obvious. Just saying it is necessary. We decided to wait a little bit with [Aurelio] De Laurentiis, the club’s owner, but everything is in order now.
Given that Spalletti’s contract runs through the summer of 2024, it is anticipated that he will take a year off, like he did after being fired by Inter in the summer of 2019. However, Napoli will shortly begin their hunt for a new manager. Despite creating club history, De Laurentiis and Spalletti will probably part ways after just two years of working together.
This choice was made for a number of reasons. Spalletti first likely believed it was the perfect moment to finish his tenure at Napoli after he made history and won the Scudetto since he can no longer deliver what he did in the previous two seasons, both professionally and personally given that the coach practically lived in the club’s training facility. Additionally, it appears that Napoli’s sporting director Cristiano Giuntoli may go at the end of the current campaign since Juventus have decided to begin a new cycle with him in charge. Giuntoli was a key figure in Napoli’s recent success, having signed players like Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, Victor Osimhen, and defender Kim Min-Jae, to mention a few.
It will be challenging to replace any one or even both of the Giuntoli-Spalletti team because they performed effectively together. De Laurentiis, on the other hand, demonstrated to us that he is adept at making wise choices by deciding to offload players like defender Kalidou Koulibaly, former captain Lorenzo Insigne, and club hero Dries Mertens all at once during the summer transfer window. Now let’s look at the potential alternatives.
Big names: Antonio Conte and Luis Enrique
Like when he hired managers like Rafa Benitez and Carlo Ancelotti in the past, De Laurentiis might decide to go with a well-known name this time. For example, the Spanish manager is another name to consider for a potential comeback, but Antonio Conte appears improbable given the possibility of a difficult working relationship with De Laurentiis because both men do not want to relinquish control. After leading AS Roma in 2011–12, some sources also speculated about Luis Enrique’s potential return to Serie A. following parting ways with the Spain national Ttam following the 2022 World Cup, the Spanish manager is searching for a new team. De Laurentiis has demonstrated in the past that he prefers what he believes can work better for his squad above the hire that will make headlines. He is not a fan of huge names when it comes to managers. Because of this, he had a very difficult time getting along with the coaches, and this should be taken into account.
Serie A candidates: Thiago Motta, Vincenzo Italiano and more
The most likely option involves a manager who has experience and is familiar with the Serie A competition. As is typical when a team wins the Scudetto, Napoli will be seen as the favorite to win the title again. Napoli will make an effort to keep the top players on the team despite competing interests. While Roberto De Zerbi, who De Laurentiis has always admired, will remain in Brighton and not travel to Italy this summer, the club is focusing on three names in particular. Thiago Motta, the current manager of Bologna, is also wanted by Paris Saint-Germain, Vincenzo Italiano, the head coach of Fiorentina, and Alessio Dionisi, the manager of Sassuolo. They all share the qualities of youth and a similar approach to attacking the game of football. Although they still need to get significant coaching experience, Napoli won’t have a problem with this because previous hires with similar backgrounds—like Maurizio Sarri, for instance—were highly regarded.
Potential darkhorses: Julian Nagelsmann and Massimo Allegri
Unexpected names are obviously a possibility, Julian Nagelsmann being only one that has come up recently. There is still another circumstance that could impact Massimiliano Allegri’s career as well as the destiny of another bench. Despite having a contract through the summer of 2025, the current Juventus coach may quit the Bianconeri at the end of the current campaign. Given that Giuntoli is moving to Juventus, he might also decide to bring Spalletti there (if De Laurentiis agrees), and Allegri might potentially emerge as a front-runner for the Napoli managerial position. Although it would be a surprising turn of events, Napoli and Juventus will likely experience more of them in the future.