Confirmed: Luciano Spalletti to leave Napoli after historic Serie A title win

After leading Napoli to their first Serie A title in 33 years, Luciano Spalletti has now confirmed the rumours that he will leave the Partenopei this summer in order to take a year away from football.

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Rumours had been swirling around Luciano Spalletti and his Napoli future for a number of weeks since he led the Partenopei to their first Serie A title in 33 years, and the 64-year-old Tuscan has confirmed that he will part ways with the Italian champions at the end of the 2022/23 season.

Spalletti has expressed a desire to take a year out of coaching, although he himself is reluctant to use the word sabbatical to describe his time away from work.

Napoli coach Luciano Spalletti in a press conference. [@sscnapoli]

“Sometimes you leave because of too much love,” Spalletti said at the Inside the Sport 2023 event at Coverciano. “I asked myself if I would be able to give back what Naples deserves, if it would be possible to give it what it deserves, that greatness that it gives to you, and the answer was no. I cannot give them that, and nothing will change my mind.

“I’ll miss everything about Napoli – the camp, the matches, but I’m not stepping backwards.

“I told the club a few weeks ago that I need a year off and I’m not going to work for another club [next season] – I’ll rest for a year.”

Spalletti was appointed Napoli coach in 2021, having been out of work since leaving Inter in 2019. Prior to that, he had two spells with AS Roma either side of a five-year stint away from Serie A in Russia with Zenit Saint Petersburg.

Why is Luciano Spalletti leaving Napoli?

There seems to be a feeling that Spalletti thinks he has done all that he can with this Napoli team after just two years in the job. That much also appears to be clear from his words confirming his departure between Serie A Matchdays 37 and 38.

In the press conference before the Inter match on Matchday 36, Spalletti had said: “The club will say it, not me. We discussed it at dinner. I am not the one who has to say it. We worked everything out in that dinner we had a week ago, I clarified everything that evening. If you want to keep guessing, cold, warm or hot, you can, but it’s all been defined.”

Luciano Spalletti in a pre-match Champions League press conference. (@sscnapoli)

That led to a response from De Laurentiis where he said: “I don’t know what he meant by that, you’d have to ask him. It is not linked to what we said to each other at dinner. As far as I am concerned, I don’t need a pair of wings, but a pair of boots. I don’t need wings to fly anywhere.”

Spalletti was very fast to also point out that he has not rejected a salary increase from Napoli as this quote (translated by Patrick Kendrick) shows: “I haven’t turned down a pay rise. I don’t have to pay a [release] clause. It’s not true that I’ve had offers to coach elsewhere. Wrong. It’s not true that I’m waiting for or looking for another team to coach. Wrong. Whoever’s reporting that is reporting falsehoods.”

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