Spalletti leaves Napoli

Luciano Spalletti has confirmed that he will step down as Napoli manager at the end of the season and that he intends to retire next year, ruling out the possibility of him joining another club before the start of the new season in August.

The 64-year-old had guided the Partenopei to their first Serie A title in more than 30 years this season after securing their place at the top of the league table with five games remaining, but since then, Spalletti has hinted that he will leave Stadio Maradona.

On Monday afternoon, Spalletti gave the most concrete statement yet about his future, claiming he feels exhausted and needs a period of time away from football.

“Sometimes, even with so much love, you have to let go. Now, I am not able to give everything that Napoli deserves. I need to rest. I feel tired. I need to disconnect for a while. I will not lead Napoli or any other team, I will leave for a year”, declared Spalletti.

Napoli had previously had the option to automatically extend Spalletti’s contract for another year, which would have been until the summer of 2024, but according to reports, the Scudetto-winning coach has asked the club to let him leave at the end of this season .

President Aurelio De Laurentiis shared his side of the story while appearing on Rai 3’s Che Tempo Fa on Sunday evening, explaining that it was Spalletti who had asked to take time off rather than it being a decision by the club.

“When someone comes to you and says he’s done everything and an era of his life is over. He told me he would prefer to have a year off. What do you do then? Do you oppose it?”, declared the president of Naples.

“He gave me a lot, I thank him. Now it is right for him to continue doing what he wants.”

Napoli are now looking for a new coach to lead them into the 2023-24 season, with Luis Enrique emerging as the candidate at the top of De Laurentiis’ wish list.