Napoli have let go of their manager Maurizio Sarri, the club has confirmed.
Club chairman Aurelio de Laurentiis posted the following update on the club’s website, which states: “I’d like to thank Maurizio Sarri for his valuable contribution to the Napoli cause.
“He brought joy and prestige to Naples and Napoli fans all over the world with an entertaining brand of football that drew praise from all quarters. Well done, Maurizio. Aurelio De Laurentiis.”
Laurentiis was reportedly frustrated by Sarri’s refusal to sign a new contract amid rumours that continuously linked him with Chelsea as a potential replacement for Antonio Conte.
The club’s decision to let go of Sarri, who was appointed in 2015 as the gaffer, came about due to this uncertainty in their long-term future as partners.
Sarri has also been eyed by Zenit St. Petersburg, who were reportedly willing to pay his release clause during his contracted tenure in order to lure him to the Russian Premier League.
Napoli have not wasted much time in naming a replacement. Former AC Milan, Chelsea, Real Madrid and Bayern manager Carlo Ancelotti has signed to a new deal worth €6m (£5.27m) a season.
During Sarri’s 3 seasons as their manager, Napoli improved their points tally every campaign. They finished runners-up to Juve with 82 points in the 2015-16 Serie A, with Gonzalo Higuain setting a Serie A goalscoring record.
Napoli increased their points tally by 5 in 2016-17, but they finished a point behind AS Roma, and 5 behind champions Juventus. They finished the 2017-18 Serie A season with 88 points and another second place finish.
Sarri is not a clear first-choice replacement for Antonio Conte at Chelsea, but his record in Italy suggests that there is merit to this notion following the Blues’ 5th-place finish in the Premier League season.