Carlo Ancelotti would be a massive coup for Napoliby Chloe Beresford / 15 May 2018, 14:22Tweet
Some people think Maurizio Sarri has worked wonders with this current Napoli side by taking them ever closer to interrupting the now seven-year run of Scudetto wins for Juventus.
Some think his awkward nature and man-management skills have shaped his side into a team who are set up to become perennial last-minute failures. There are others whose opinions lie somewhere in between the two.
Yet whatever you think of this often controversial boss, it certainly seems like his cycle as Coach of the Neapolitan side has come to its natural conclusion. Reports suggest that himself and owner Aurelio De Laurentiis are E0.5 million apart in terms of salary negotiations, however the biggest bone of contention is said to remain potential acquisitions this summer, with Sarri urging the president to spend big in order to usurp Juve from the top spot.
“My future? We've a club dinner on Thursday, so I'll definitely meet the President there, unless one of us doesn’t show up,” said the Coach after a win over Sampdoria at the weekend.
“But regardless of how this story ends, I can say that I love the fans deeply, I love the City deeply, and that will never change.”
Does this sound like a man who wants to stay in charge? Probably not. With Chelsea knocking on the door, all the signs point to the controversial man in charge walking away once the campaign has reached its conclusion next week.
With many players only having stayed at the club last summer due to a desire to have one last crack at winning the Scudetto, Sarri’s departure could have disastrous consequences for the Partenopei. The likes of Jorginho, Dries Mertens and Kalidou Koulibaly could all succumb to the constant interest that has been shown in them, leaving the club in a real mess.
There is one man, however, that could solve this problem. After turning down the Italian national team job, multiple reports suggest that Carlo Ancelotti is ready to take up the challenge with Napoli with Naples-based Sky reporter Carlo Alvino even claiming a deal has already been reached between the two parties and could be announced this week.
According to @Carloalvino, Ancelotti joining Napoli is confirmed, and it's beyond contradiction. He'll sign a Two-Year contract with an option for another year. The Coach likes Napoli's current squad, and at most, two players will be sold this summer. (@CalcioNapoli24)— Everything Napoli (@NaplesAndNapoli) May 14, 2018
For those that feel Sarri - while undoubtedly capable of wowing the crowds with beautiful football - lacks the winning mentality that Juventus so regularly display, the former Bayern boss would surely be an ideal acquisition in order to take the club forward. Ancelotti will have to take a reduced salary compared to what he could be offered in the Premier League, but may see this chance to topple Juve as a tempting challenge indeed.
Having won domestic leagues in Italy, Spain, France and Germany, while also lifting two Champions League trophies with AC Milan and one with Real Madrid, Ancelotti can name the 1999 Intertoto Cup as his sole achievement during a two-year spell with Juventus. “A pig cannot coach. Ancelotti, get out” was daubed on the wall near the Bianconeri headquarters even before he had taken charge of a single match due to his past with rivals Milan and Roma.
The boss remains unpopular with Juve to this day and was fined for making an offensive gesture towards Juve’s Ultras in 2008. Reading between the lines, it seems like Ancelotti would enjoy taking on the challenge of breaking his former side’s dominance, but could bring so much more than a mutual dislike of their rivals to the role at Napoli.
A man of his calibre could once again persuade those linked with a move elsewhere to stay at Napoli, with many of them surely eager to benefit from his experience. While Sarri has been criticised for a failure to rotate his squad, “Carlito” has plenty of experience of managing a team that are challenging on more than one front.
If Napoli can secure Ancelotti’s signature and preserve their style of play - while at the same time improving on mentality and team selection - their fans could very soon have something to celebrate.