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Napoli: No more nonsense

Napoli: No more nonsense

Aurelio De Laurentiis is known for being one of the toughest presidents in Europe, negotiating with the Italian is a task for the brave and his sporting expectations match his inflexibility in the market. Therefore, and aware that Napoli has suffered a monumental ‘downturn’ after winning the ‘Scudetto’ last season, he wants a guy with character and experience on the bench.

A year ago, everything was very beautiful in Naples. It had been 30 years since they had won a Scudetto and Luciano Spalletti, the author of a much-needed reconstruction at the club, led the Neapolitans to the top of Calcio. However, the Certaldo native opted to take on the role of Italy coach and Napoli went into freefall that no one could stop.

A COACH CRUSHER

Rudi Garcia was chosen to replace Spalletti, but he didn’t even get to eat the Christmas nougat. Walter Mazzarri miraculously lasted three months in charge of the team, and Francesco Calzona, who could not prevent the elimination in the Champions League against Barça in the round of 16, recently appointed for the second leg, ‘ate’ a real ‘chestnut’ until the end of the season. Now, it will be Antonio Conte’s turn, with the contract duration yet to be decided.

The former Tottenham manager, out of a job since March 2023, will be in charge of putting the dots on the ‘i’s’ in the ‘new’ Napoli. The Italian stands out for being one of the most characterful coaches in the five major leagues and for his extensive experience in Serie A, both as a player and a coach. He has no problem demanding what he considers necessary from the directors of the clubs he is at, or those who want him. And the figure of De Laurentiis does not ‘intimidate’ him.

READ MORE: Antonio Conte: Napoli’s top target for the coaching job

CONTE AND HIS FOUR DEMANDS

In fact, the club already knows some of his demands. The first of them is that Giovanni Di Lorenzo has to be completely non-transferable. The 30-year-old captain is not going through one of his best moments at the club in terms of his relationship with the ‘tifosi’ and several Italian media outlets have reported that he has asked the board to listen to offers for him if they are interesting. With the limited market for right-backs in Serie A, Conte considers him essential for his project.

Another of his untouchables is Khvicha Kvaratskhelia. The 23-year-old Georgian, who exploded last season, is coveted by the big clubs in Europe such as Barça and PSG, who have offered 100 ‘kilos’ for him. However, Conte wants to lock him down.

For the Italian, the defense plays a very important role in his scheme, so in addition to securing the continuity of Di Lorenzo, he wants to sign a specific center-back, Alessandro Buongiorno (24 years old), from Torino, one of the best defenders this season in Serie A.

Finally, and in the event that Victor Osimhen ends up leaving for a millionaire amount, Conte has his replacement very clear at the top of the attack: Romelu Lukaku. According to ‘La Gazzeta dello Sport’, the former Tottenham manager wants the Belgian, owned by Chelsea, yes or yes, if the Nigerian ends his time at the Diego Armando Maradona.

Whatever happens, it will be very interesting to follow closely the management of De Laurentiis and Conte in a Napoli that needs a firm hand. We will see if two inflexible and characterful men are able to complement each other well and work together to return to the top of Calcio. There is no more room for nonsense at Napoli.

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