Fabrizio Romano and Dominic Fifield on 23 May 2018
Carlo Ancelotti, the former Chelsea manager, has agreed to replace Maurizio Sarri as Napoli’s coach. The Italian, who has also managed Real Madrid and Juventus but was sacked by Bayern Munich last September, has signed a two-year deal with the Serie A club on a reported salary of €6m (£5.27m) a season.
Ancelotti had been linked with the Italy national team but that post went to Roberto Mancini.
Sarri’s departure from the club he guided to second place in Serie A could turn out to be the another move in the managerial carousel that sees him installed as Chelsea manager should Antonio Conte make his widely anticipated exit from Stamford Bridge this summer. However, sources in Italy say that the 59-year-old Sarri is mulling over an offer from Zenit St Petersburg, understood to be worth around £5.2m a year.
It is believed that Sarri’s preference would be to join Chelsea but it is not clear that he is the club’s top target. There have been suggestions that Napoli would waive compensation for Sarri from Chelsea if David Luiz were allowed to join them for a cut-price fee, probably less than £15m.
Following Sunday’s 2-1 home victory over Crotone, which saw Napoli end the season with 91 points, Sarri told La Gazzetta dello Sport: “Everything in life ends and it is better to finish things after writing a beautiful story. I don’t know if I will stay, I have to talk about it with my family.
“The situation is complicated. You can’t say you’re ready to go and try again with this squad when you don’t know that everyone will remain here. I don’t know if the club will manage to keep the players who have release clauses when offers will come in from big clubs. What I do think is that I could not go directly to another Italian team, and that if I had to make a change I would prefer to go abroad.”