Conte among candidates to replace Spalletti at Napoli
Napoli have begun their search for a permanent replacement for head coach Luciano Spalletti who will leave the club at the end of the season.
According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Antonio Conte and Luis Enrique have been shortlisted, with club president Aurelio De Laurentiis keen to hire an elite manager.
Spalletti’s impending departure is only without an official confirmation from the club. It comes after a breakdown in the relationship between the Italian tactician and De Laurentiis.
The 64-year-old was unhappy at how the Napoli president handled his contract extension, having been informed of the renewal via email.
Spalletti reportedly expected different treatment after steering the Gli Azzurri to a famous Scudetto triumph that has eluded their grasp for over three decades.
With Spalletti poised for an exit, Napoli are already looking at possible replacements. Conte and Enrique, who are free agents, are top of their wishlist.
Conte is without a job following his unceremonious departure from Tottenham Hotspur in March, while Enrique is keen to return to club football after his spell with the Spanish national team.
De Laurentiis is keen to lure Conte back to Serie A, where he has enjoyed enormous success, winning four Italian championships with Inter Milan and Juventus.
The 53-year-old also extended his impressive winning record in the Premier League, winning the title and FA Cup with Chelsea, although his spell with Spurs ended trophyless.
Napoli have reportedly held several previous talks with Conte, but a move could depend on the Italian tactician tweaking his longstanding tactical system.
Conte likes to play with a trademark 3-4-3 structure, but he would need to switch to a back-four system which has been the hallmark of Napoli’s success story this season.
He reportedly wants to get back into football, and the idea of finding a team that is already well set up to compete in Italy and Europe would prick his interest.
However, the Italian’s enormous wage demands could derail a potential transfer with Napoli enforcing a €7 million salary cap for their players and coaches.