Napoli are going to face another summer revolution even after the Italian club won their first Serie A title in 33 years. In fact, coach Luciano Spalletti will leave the club at the end of the season, as multiple reports suggested and the coach himself implied in the most recent press conference after the game against Inter.
"I'm not waiting for something, everything is clear. It just needs to be said. We agreed with [Aurelio] De Laurentiis (the owner of the club) to wait a bit, but everything is clear."
While Spalletti is expected to take a year break, as he did after he was sacked by Inter in the summer of 2019, considering his contract is until the summer of 2024, Napoli will soon start their search for a new coach. De Laurentiis and Spalletti will likely end their work relationship after only two years, despite making history at the club.
There are multiple reasons for this decision. First, Spalletti probably felt it was the right time to end his spell at Napoli, after he made history and won the Scudetto, as he can't give what he did in the past two seasons, also on a personal level since the coach literally lived in the training center of the club. Also, sporting director Cristiano Giuntoli will also likely leave Napoli at the end of the season, with reports suggesting Juventus decided to start a new cycle with him in charge. Giuntoli was one of the men behind the success of Napoli in recent years, signing players like defender Kim Min-Jae, Victor Osimhen and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, just to name a few.
The Giuntoli-Spalletti duo worked well, and it will definitely be difficult to replace one or even both. On the other hand, De Laurentiis taught us that he's good at making the right decisions, as he did last summer when he decided to sell players like defender Kalidou Koulibaly, former captain Lorenzo Insigne and club's legend Dries Mertens all in the same transfer window. Let's now take a look at the possible replacements.
Big names: Antonio Conte and Luis Enrique
De Laurentiis might decide to go for a big name as he did in the past when he appointed managers like Rafa Benitez and Carlo Ancelotti. The Spanish manager, for instance, is also a name to take into consideration for a possible comeback, while the one of Antonio Conte seems unlikely for what could be the working relationship between him and De Laurentiis, both who don't care to cease control. Some reports suggested also a possible Serie A comeback for Luis Enrique, after he coached AS Roma during the 2011-12 season. The Spanish manager is looking for a new club after he ended his spell with the Spain national Ttam after the 2022 World Cup. De Laurentiis is not a fan of big names when it comes to managers and he showed in the past to prefer what he thinks can work better for his team rather than the headline-creating hire. This is why his relationships with the coaches were not easy at all, and this is definitely a factor to be taken in consideration.
Serie A candidates: Thiago Motta, Vincenzo Italiano and more
The most likely scenario is the one of a manager that already worked and knows the Serie A league. Napoli will be considered the frontrunner to win again the title, as it often happens when you win the Scudetto. Despite many interests, Napoli will try to keep the biggest names on the roster. While Roberto De Zerbi (always appreciated by De Laurentiis), will stay at Brighton and won't come back to Italy this summer, the eyes of the club are on three names in particular. Current Bologna manager Thiago Motta, who is also on the radar of Paris Saint Germain, Fiorentina's coach Vincenzo Italiano and Sassuolo's Alessio Dionisi. They are all young, and they also have in common a similar idea of attacking football. However, as coaches, they still have to earn experience at high levels but this is not going to be an issue for Napoli, as similar profiles of coaches appointed in the past ended up being appreciated a lot, like Maurizio Sarri for example.
Potential darkhorses: Julian Nagelsmann and Massimo Allegri
A surprising name is definitely an option, like the one of Julian Nagelsmann just to name one that was mentioned in the recent days. There is also another scenario that might also determine the future of another bench and is also linked with the future of Massimiliano Allegri. The current Juventus coach might leave the Bianconeri at the end of the season, despite his contract being till the summer of 2025. With Giuntoli going to Juventus, he might also decide to bring Spalletti to Juventus (if De Laurentiis will let it happen), and Allegri might also become a natural candidate for the Napoli job. That would be an unexpected turnaround of events, but won't be the first one or the last one when it comes to Napoli and Juventus.