Spalletti to leave Napoli and take time out of game


Luciano Spalletti head coach of SSC Napoli looks on during the Serie A match between Bologna FC and SSC Napoli at Stadio Renato Dall'Ara on May 28, 2023 in Bologna, Italy.

After guiding Napoli to a first Serie A title in 33 years, manager Luciano Spalletti says he will leave the club at the end of the season and take time out of the game.

“I need to take some time to rest because I’m pretty tired,” he said.

“I don’t know if you can call it a year’s sabbatical but I won’t be working. I won’t be coaching Napoli or any other team.”

Spalletti, 64, who took over in July 2021, had a year left on his deal.

Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis said he would “respect” the decision.

Speaking to Italian broadcaster Rai, De Laurentiis said: “He’s a free man, he’s given us something and I thank him, it’s right that he does what he wants.”

The club won their first Italian top-flight title since 1990 on 4 May, with five games to spare, and reached the Champions League quarter-finals, recording victories over Liverpool, Ajax and Rangers during the group stage.

Former Roma, Celta and Barcelona manager Luis Enrique, who left his position as Spain boss following the 2022 World Cup, is Napoli’s “ideal candidate” to succeed Spalletti, Corriere dello Sport has reported.

Napoli, who drew 2-2 at Bologna on Sunday, play their final match of the season at home to Sampdoria next Sunday.

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